Rugby Australia Fires Star Israel Folau After Saying Gays Will Burn In Hell
Rugby AustraliaFires Star Player... After Saying Gays Will Burn In Hell
4/11/2019 8:30 AM PT
Israel Folau -- a star rugby player -- has been fired from Australia's national team after he said gays will burn in hell in a social media post on Wednesday ... Rugby Australia announced.
30-year-old Folau took to Instagram this week to post a picture that read, "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters," will all, "end up in hell unless [they] repent."
The post immediately went viral ... and caused such a backlash -- Rugby Australia acted swiftly, terminating his $4 million contract just hours after the post went up.
"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," RA chief executive Raelene Castle said.
“In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”
Folau has repeatedly bashed gays in homophobic rants throughout his career ... reportedly writing in a separate social media post last year, "God’s plan for gay people was hell."
For his part, Folau has reportedly insisted he's not homophobic ... saying he's a devout Christian who believes the Bible condemns gays.
On that topic, Castle said, "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."
Folau was expected to be a key piece of Australian's national team in this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.