Rugby Australia has confirmed its intentions to sack Wallabies star Israel Folau following his homophobic outburst on social media this week.
The 30-year-old had previously come under fire for his outspoken views on homosexuality with his latest post sparking even more outrage.
The controversial statement posted on Instagram read: “Hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators.”
Folau’s photo sparked an angry response from followers and major figures in the rugby world, with retired England rugby star Joe Marler posting a photo of two men kissing on Twitter, followed shortly after by a short video of two other men kissing.
Now Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle and NSW Rugby Union CEO Andrew Hore have spoken out in response to the message, claiming they intend to terminate Folau’s 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,” a statement from the two read.
“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.”
The high profile figures went on to say Folau failed to understand their expectations and went against the rugby community’s stance on equality.
“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 continued.
“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.
They concluded: “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.”
Castle later took to Twitter to clarify that she had been in regular contact with Folau’s manager Isaac Moses since his social media posts.
Clarification: I was in constant contact with Isaac Moses over the last 24 hours. He didreach Israel however I was unable to speak with him
— Raelene Castle (@raelenecastle) April 11, 2019
“Clarification: I was in constant contact with Isaac Moses over the last 24 hours. He did reach Israel however I was unable to speak with him,” Castle tweeted.