Christian rugby player booed over his support for homophobia

Christian rugby player booed over his support for homophobia April 14, 2019
Image via Wikipedia CC

THE row sparked by Israel Folau, the anti-gay Australian rugby player, took a new twist yesterday when Viliami ‘Billy’ Vunipola, above, a professional British rugby union player, was booed for his support of Israel Folau on social media.

Not only that, at the end of a match between the Saracens and the Bristol Bears, played at the Ashton Gate stadium in Bristol, loudspeakers began blasting out “It’s Raining Men.”

The 15,000 strong crowd were clearly aware of the unfolding controversy and used it to mercilessly rib Vunipola.

On Friday Harlequins prop Joe Marler’s took to goading Vunipola on Twitter over his support of Folau.

The former England prop had first taken aim directly at Folau after the controversy broke over the Wallaby’s star most recent homophobic outbursts on social media – sending the fullback a picture of two men kissing.

Folau and the list of ‘sins’ he posted on social media. Images via YouTube

In reference to the top “sin” on Folau’s list, Marler tweeted a picture of Vunipola stumbling drunk out of a nightclub in Dublin, effectively exposing the Jesus junkie’s hypocrisy.

Vunipola could face disciplinary action for his support of Folau. An RFU spokeswoman said:

Rugby is an inclusive sport and we do not support these views. We will be meeting with Billy to discuss his social media posts.

Saracens subsequently issued a statement saying that Vunipola’s comments were “inconsistent” with the club’s beliefs and that internal discipline procedures will follow. However it appears that Vunipola’s views have already had repercussions, with Channel 4 dropping him as the face of their European rugby coverage.

A spokesperson for Channel 4 has said that:

(Billy Vunipola)’s views are incompatible with our values as an inclusive broadcaster and in light of this Billy Vunipola won’t be used as a contributor in Channel 4’s rugby coverage.

Vunipola was born in Australia to Tongan parents. His mother is Reverend Iesinga Vunipola, a Methodist Minister, and the player has repeatedly spoken of the strength he draws from his faith.

Stonewall, which campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people across Britain, objects to the use of religion to explain homophobic beliefs. A spokesperson said:

Faith is often used to justify anti-LGBT views and attitudes. This is wrong and perpetuates a myth that faith and LGBT inclusion cannot coexist.

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  • barriejohn

    There is, to my mind, one beacon of hope in view, despite the apparent successes of fascists, worldwide, at the present moment. That is, the widespread trend towards acceptance of LGBT people and other minorities of all types, especially in America where one would have expected ideas to have changed much more slowly than they have done. Maybe there IS hope for the future after all!

  • Etranger

    I think it is good to expose the hypocrisy and to point out the problems with the beliefs against gays but not sure one should be disciplined for holding that view. I just assume (usually very safely) that anyone who says they are Christian is anti gay.

  • Vanity Unfair

    He’s not calling for a ban on homosexual players; he’s not refusing to play with or against homosexual players and he is getting criticised on the “plank in his own eye” principle. This is probably one of the very rare free speech incidents that really is about free speech. If he really is only stating what his religion has to say about morality then perhaps the retributions are going too far. How do the drunks and thieves feel about this? Perhaps they should not be criticised.

    Or perhaps a celebrity in one field should be careful not to make public statements outside his area of competence.