Israel Folau’s $4m contract terminated over ‘hell awaits gay people’ comments
Last week, the fullback was found guilty of a ‘high-level’ conduct breach with a three-person panel ruling on Friday to terminate the player’s $4m contract.
Commenting on Folau’s punishment the Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said it was a “painful situation,” stressing however that they were left with no other option than to part ways with the player.
“We want to stress that this outcome is a painful situation for the game,” Castle said.
“Rugby Australia did not choose to be in this situation, but Rugby Australia’s position remains that Israel, through his actions, left us with no choice but to pursue this course of action.”Also on rt.com ‘He was just quoting the Bible’: Israel Folau’s relatives defend rugby star's 'anti-gay' posts
In a statement after his sacking was officially confirmed, Folau said he was “deeply saddened” by the news and thanked his supporters who had asserted his right to “share his beliefs.”
“As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression,” he said. “The Christian faith has always been a part of my life an I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God’s word.
“Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country.”
A devout Christian, Folau shared his religious beliefs on social media in April, telling ‘sinners’ what will happen to them if they don’t repent.
The controversial post caused a stir on social media with many users accusing the player of homophobia.
Last year, the rugby star was also at the center of controversy after stating that gay people will go to hell “unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”