Sport Israel Folau breaks silence, says he would walk away from Australian rugby, criticises Raelene Castle
Folau tweets Bible verse ahead of meeting
Israel Folau has tweeted a Bible verse about the righteous being persecuted before his meeting with Rugby Australia about his use of social media.Rugby Australia officials have been careful not to inflame the situation with Wallabies superstar Israel Folau on the eve of a meeting over his use of social media.
Wallabies star Israel Folau has made the bombshell revelation that he would walk away from Australian rugby immediately if asked to, while also accusing the code’s chief executive Raelene Castle of misrepresenting his “position and comments” during a press conference last week.
Since saying on Instagram almost two weeks ago that
Rugby on edge as Folau shows no sign of backing down
Israel Folau has sent a clear message 24 hours before a crucial meeting with his employers over an anti-gay comment he made on Instagram last week.Castle and Hore are expected to ask him to temper his use of social media but the Waratahs and Wallabies fullback posted a screen shot of a biblical extract, appearing to suggest he was being persecuted for his conservative Christian views.
He met with Castle and New South Wales Rugby boss Andrew Hore last Monday to talk about his use of social media.
In a column for Players Voice published on Monday evening, Folau has revealed what was said at the meeting and made it clear he won’t be backing down from his religious beliefs.
“After we’d all talked, I told Raelene if she felt the situation had become untenable – that I was hurting Rugby Australia, its sponsors and the Australian rugby community to such a degree that things couldn’t be worked through – I would walk away from my contract, immediately," said Folau, who is off contract at the end of the year. "At no stage over the past two weeks have I wanted that to happen.
“There have been things written about me angling to get a release from my Rugby Australia
Alan Jones offers Israel Folau free legal representation against Rugby Australia
Wouldn't this be a feisty battle!Israel Folau might need a good lawyer as Rugby Australia prepare for war over his religious views.
"This is not about money or bargaining power or contracts. It’s about what I believe in and never compromising
Folau said he then went home and turned on the television, only to be “really disappointed” with Castle’s comments during a press conference afterwards in which she said: "Israel acknowledged that maybe he could have put a positive spin on that same message and done it in a less disrespectful way".
“I felt Raelene misrepresented my position and my comments," Folau said. "And did so to appease other people, which is an issue I need to discuss with her and others at Rugby Australia.
“When I spoke to Raelene about walking away, it was to help the game, not harm it, in the event we couldn’t come to an understanding.
Israel Folau shows no sign of backing down from social media views
Israel Folau has managed to fend off any immedaite sanction, and has given no firm commitment to Rugby Australia that he will be silenced on social media.Israel Folau has given no firm commitment to Rugby Australia that he will be silenced on social media as the game's chief executive Raelene Castle confirmed there would be ongoing discussions with the Wallabies and Waratahs star to make sure he remained respectful online.
“I used to believe I was defined by my actions on the footy field, but I see now that’s not true.
“During the meeting, I told them it was never my intention to hurt anyone with the Instagram comment, but that I could never shy away from who I am, or what I believe. They explained their position and talked about external pressure from the media, sponsors and different parts of the community, which I understand."
Folau explained why he posted the comment but reinforced his views that homosexuals are sinners.
“In the comments section of that post, I was asked a question by somebody about what God’s plan is for gay people," Folau said. "My response to the question is what I believe God’s plan is for all sinners, according to my understanding of my Bible teachings, specifically 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10:
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Relationship between Israel Folau and rugby bosses sour over anti-gay comments
Rugby Australia says it had positive talks with Folau over his social media comments condemning gay people. The real story is the relationship with its highest-paid player is strained.The relationship between Rugby Australia and its highest-paid player, Israel Folau, has soured following a meeting at which he insisted he would not be backing away from his social media remarks that gay people were going to “hell unless they repent of their sins and turn to God”.
"I do not know the person who asked the question, but that didn’t matter. I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart. I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear.
"I think of it this way: you see someone who is about to walk into a hole and have the chance to save him. He might be determined to maintain his course and doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. But if you don’t tell him the truth, as unpopular as it might be, he is going to fall into that hole. What do you do?
"I fronted the cover of the Star Observer magazine to show my support for the Bingham Cup, which is an international gay rugby competition for both men and women. I believe in inclusion. In my heart, I know I do not have any phobia towards anyone.
"With everything that has been said and written, many people over the past six months have told me they think I am wrong, either to my face or via social media.
"Every individual in this world is different and we have all experienced things that have shaped us in unique ways.
"I don’t expect everyone to believe what I believe. That goes for teammates, friends and even family members, some of whom are gay.
"I don’t pretend to have all the answers in life. It can be difficult making the right decisions."
NRL boss makes stunning call on Folau future .
NRL Chief Executive Officer Todd Greenberg has shared his thoughts on the saga involving controversial Wallabies star Israel Folau.NRL Chief Executive Officer Todd Greenberg has said the code would welcome back controversial star Israel Folau despite his views on homosexuality.
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