Because of Jesus career of top Australian rugby player is in ruins

Because of Jesus career of top Australian rugby player is in ruins April 11, 2019
Images via Instagram and YouTube

‘RELIGIOUS nutter’ Israel Folau is about to be sacked by Rugby Australia and the NSW Rugby Union as a result of an image, inset, that he posted on Instagram.

Both organisations released a joint statement today (Thursday) saying that, barring unforseen circumstances, Folau’s multi-million dollar four-year contract would be terminated.

And Rugby Australia’s major sponsor, Qantas, labelled Folau’s post as “really disappointing”.

Said RA chief executive Raelene Castle and NSWRU boss Andrew Hore in the statement:

In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract. Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have made repeated attempts to contact Israel both directly and via his representatives since 6.30pm on Wednesday, and at this point he has failed to communicate directly with either organisation.

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. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.

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.

The statement added:

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.

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.

Folau’s deliberate decision to not remove the post, and the fact he made a similar comment this time last year and was warned by RA, left Castle no option but to put the foot down and all but draw the curtains on a stellar career in the code, which began in 2013.

Folau’s stupidity could not have come at a worse time, as the two rugby bodies were in the middle of negotiating a new sponsorship deal with Quantas, which said:

These comments are really disappointing and clearly don’t reflect the spirit of inclusion and diversity that we support. We’re pleased to see Rugby Australia’s condemnation of the comments.

Just last week Folau became the most prolific try-scorer in Super Rugby history and was certain to be a key figure in the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign later this year in Japan.

Another problem RA became aware of was that other Wallabies representatives, such as Samu Kerevi and Allan Alaalatoa, liked Folau’s post.

While Kerevi and Alaalatoa liked the photo, there were a number of other players, including Henry Speight, understood to have unliked the post after being warned to do so on Thursday.

Many, including New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have slammed Folau, but Japan’s captain, Michael Leitch, was the strongest voice of the lot and called Folau out for what he believed was bullying of the lowest order.

We can’t accept this kind of behaviour. When I see a bully the first thing I have to do is call them out and I think I’m calling you out for the right reasons. You should apologise or do something to make amends.

A commentator on Australia’s 9News pointed out that  “a lot of Australians” were on Folau list, but not child abusers.

I’m sorry but we’re not in a climate that’s prepared to tolerate religious nutters. 

This seemed to upset the programme’s presenter, who took issue with the term “religious nutter”. She said:

He’s a Christian who expressed a personal opinion and he comes from a highly religious background.

In an op-ed for the South China Morning Post, Mark Agnew wrote:

Diversity of views is a symptom of free speech, so don’t expect everyone to agree with you in a functioning society. Expect people to debate, and ridicule you if you have a view that they disagree with. But don’t expect religion to be a free pass if you’re a professional sportsperson, with a huge following, categorically condemning masses of people as evil and hell-bound. Instead, expect to lose your job.

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  • Broga

    This declaration by by Folau, a talented sportsman mentally unhinged by religious indoctrination, is made as if he announced facts. No debate, no evidence, nothing to back it up; just a fountain of bile, condemnation and hatred. The days when this was not only accepted but admired have gone. I suppose repentance is a major part of his religion. He will have the rest of his life to practice that regarding this statement. Or at least regret as he seems ill unfitted to earn his living out of rugby and certainly anything he does earn will be a pittance.

  • Tawreos

    He would have to believe he had something that he needed to repent for and sadly that is not likely to happen. =(

  • Glandu


    A nice list, isn’t it? Well, drunks can be dangerous…or not. Many drunks I know are able to manage themselves, and are no harm to anyone(I don’t drink myself). Homosexuals who respect consent don’t harm anyone. Adulterers may be wrong, or not, depending wether their couple is open or not. Liars – well, everyone lies, some much more than others, but everyone lies. Fornicators just don’t follow bronze-age ceremonies before having fun, I don’t see the harm. Thieves are more a problem, but are far from being as dangerous as the child molesters so often found in christian circles. Atheists are just people. Idolaters as well.

    Said another way, wicked is the one who does not follow the bronze age rule that I follow. Errrrm, no. Wicked is the one who loathes whoever does not submit to him.

  • Lurker111

    To be fair, what chance in life does a kid with the name “Israel” have to come to a rational existence?

  • Lurker111

    I can be a very nice quiet drunk that sits in the corner and savors having the barbs of life dulled for a few precious moments.

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    When are we going to get the persecution claim? Or they are denying my freedom of speech. Perhaps some of the dark money from the US is now winging its way to Australia

  • TrickyDicky

    I wonder what percentage of the population of Australia is encompassed by his list?

  • Glandu

    Australia, I don’t know, but rugby players are drunkards at 99%. He did just insult all his teammates.

  • Fraser

    “I’m sorry but we’re not in a climate that’s prepared to tolerate religious nutters.” I know a few countries that would do well to emulate this.

  • Fraser

    “The days when this was not only accepted but admired have gone” – I am not sure I would agree with you totally on this one. There are certainly groups in the US for whom this does not hold true, unfortunately in government as well.

  • anxionnat

    Notice his tattoos? Hypocrite!

  • kerryberger

    Frankly I have neither sympathy or empathy for this idiot athlete, Israel Folau. He is nothing more than a hateful bigot. May he have difficulty in any future employment. He owes a huge apology to all Australians and particularly those groups he identified for discrimination. Frankly, he should be up on charges of fomenting hate speech. And he calls himself a Christian. What a pathetic joke.

  • BitinDawg

    Oh c’mon, give the guy a break. There are no threats there. If you are of sound mind and intellectually adult, then clearly and plainly disabuse the man of his religious misapprehensions. You give the religious institutions free rein to peddle this ancient mythology as God’s truth, you are thereby duty bound to tolerate the resultant religious idiocy.

  • EllyR

    A lot of Jews go by the name of Israel anywhere in the world without any problem. Israel is actually the biblical name of a Jewish tribe in early days and anybody that will act against a person with that name is just a Jews’ hater.

  • EllyR

    In my humble opinion, any serious reaction to his stupid list and the invocation of the mythical “Hell”, actually indicates that his list and threat have some truth to it.

  • Boglify

    Since when have atheists and other non-religious people given religious institutions “free rein” to peddle nonsense? Speak for yourself. If there was any way to stamp out the power and control of religion and it’s gullible minions, I would be all for it.

  • Rodger

    Leviticus 19:28, according to that I will meet him in hell

  • Robert McLean

    The most disappointed here will no doubt be Folau’s mormon minders. He’s set to lose his 4 year 4 million AU dollar haul, his ‘church is set to lose four hundred grand over the same period. It is positive how Folau’s stone age religious beliefs have proved to be so abhorrent, so socially unacceptable that he’s been called out. Negatively though, that gay people have been named as the most wronged in this instance, ignores the 31% of Aussies who identify as atheist, we were tarred by the same brush of delusional bullshit as the other ostracised (by Folau) demographics, the media outcry over that slander has been largely ignored.

  • Sau Peih

    Quantas = Qantas


  • Jim X

    The least he could have done was add Republicans to the list.

  • Har Davids

    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

  • Jan

    Duty bound? in your dreams, pal.

    Listen, religious institutions have free rein to peddle their idiocy, but WE have free rein to call them on it. In no way does freedom of speech require a person to sit down and shut up while another freely speaks.

  • Jan

    A christian who believes his religious rights give him the power to condemn others, without being called on it. This reminds me of Hobby Lobby, and Christian bakers who refuse to bake a cake if requested by a homosexual.

    Whatever gave this guy the idea that he could* (*edited to correct comment) say such a thing without being called on it? I suspect the current political climate in the USA played a part.

  • Jan

    This list conveniently leaves out rapists and child molesters…what does that say about Israel?

  • Broga

    I take your point and it seems that with Trump and his religious freeloaders in the White House the system is set to get worse.

  • Broga

    “Jesus saves” but St John scores on the rebound. An example of Liverpool graffiti wit at its best. For those unfamiliar with UK soccer, Ian St John was a free scoring Liverpool forward.

  • Fraser

    ^^^ This – in NO way are these people’s actions and speech free of consequences. That is how democracy works, how it is meant to work. Speech is NOT just speech, it has consequences and ramifications. So I, as a person of reasonably sound mind and intellectually adult, call BS.

  • Lurker111

    I think you have missed my point. Giving a kid a religious or politically-loaded name will always make life for that child more difficult than it needs to be.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Folau has every right to practice his religious beliefs in his hometown or church. What he does not have is the right to represent his athletic league or the privilege of abusing his team colors. Free speech does not obligate any of us to grant him a platform and an audience for his intolerant views, and we have no duty to defer to them. Fortunately, Israel now enjoys the time to take his bigoted rant to a streetcorner, public park, or personal blog.