Rugby player Israel Folau set to face contract termination after homophobic post

Sydney [Australia]: Australian rugby player Israel Folau is likely to face contract termination after he shared a homophobic post on social media.

Folau took Instagram to share the image reading: “WARNING drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, and idolaters HELL AWAITS YOU REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES.”

“Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him,” the rugby player captioned the post.

The post did not go down well with Rugby Australia, the sport’s governing body, and issued a statement with their “intention to terminate his contract.”

“Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he cannot share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality,” Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle and NSW Rugby Union CEO, Andrew Hore said on Wednesday in its statement.

“Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. As a code, we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.”

The statement further said both Rugby Australia and New South Wales Rugby Union have had made repeated attempts to contact the player, but Israel failed to “communicate directly with either organisation.”

“Rugby is a sport that continuously works to unite people. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated,” Castle and Hore said.