Israel Folau: Australia end player's contract over anti-gay message

  • Israel Folau: Australia end player's contract over anti-gay message

Israel Folau: Australia end player's contract over anti-gay message

Hillsong founder and pastor Brian Houston has called on Israel Folau to abandon his judgmental attitude and embrace love rather than trying to scare people to side with his religious beliefs.

'All professional rugby players in Australia are bound by the code of conduct, and there is a process in place for any disciplinary matter.

The fact that it was the second time Folau had taken to social media to express his controversial views was taken into account.

"Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he can not share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality".

'It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people due to their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.

Rugby Australia CEO Raelone Castle said, "he was unapologetic with his posts and it left us no option".

Rugby Australia is pressing ahead with plans to terminate Israel Folau's contract after the Wallabies full-back was served with a breach notice over his homophobic social media posts.

"I think we all know what he's said isn't right.it's been dealt with pretty strongly by his employers", Hansen said.

"And that's not a position we're prepared to move forward with".

Folau, Super Rugby's record try scorer, is Australia's most marketable player and was a key part of the Wallabies plans for the World Cup this year. "We're not moral judgers and no one should be", Cheika said.

Wallabies fullback Israel Folau has 48 hours to decide his future after being handed an official code of conduct breach notice by Rugby Australia.

Ablett and Kennedy were two of almost 39,000 people who liked Folau's controversial homophobic post which said gay people are going to hell unless they repent.

He said: "It's obviously a decision that's in the process right now but I believe in a God that's in control of all things".

Asked if he would be comfortable taking the field again alongside Folau, flanker Hooper said "In this current state and being here and talking about this as a rugby player, it makes it hard, it makes it difficult".

He has 48 hours to accept the sanction or face a code of conduct hearing.

'In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I'll definitely miss it.

'I share it with love. He has already been stood down by the NSW Waratahs while his case is heard.

The player continued: "First and foremost, I live for God now".

Cheika emphasised the importance of the team but also said "everybody has the right to believe (in what they want) and we respect that right".

"In 40 years of telling people about the good news of Jesus, I have seen that the "turn or burn", approach to proclaiming the message of Christianity alienates people".

Clubs in Europe will also be wary of signing a player who comes with considerable baggage and even Toulon have rejected the possibly of offering an escape route out of the crisis that has engulfed him and the sport Down Under. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first, ' he said.