Rugby Australia has announced its decision to terminate the contract of Israel Folau, after he posted an image on his Instagram page telling gay people, atheists and all he believes to be “living in Sin” that “hell awaits you.”
The post consists of an image warning “drunks; homosexuals; adulterers; liars; fornicators; thieves; atheists; adulterers,” to “repent,” and saying that “only Jesus saves.” Folau added a caption reading “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,” along with a quote from Galatians 5.
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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. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30 KJV _______________
This is not the first time that the 30 year-old former rugby league international, a fundamentalist Christian, has made social media posts condemning LGBT+ identities. He shared similar opinions online last year, and was warned against such posts by Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle. Nonetheless, he was allowed to sign a new deal with Rugby Australia lasting through to 2022 this February.
Last year’s posts also triggered threats from sponsors of the Australian national team that they would withdraw support.
In a statement today, Rugby Australia said “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.
“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.
“In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”
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