Billy Vunipola has been ‘formally warned’ by Saracens who said he made a ‘serious error of judgement’ defending Israel Folau’s anti-LGBT post.
The England rugby star was one of the first people to ‘like’ Folau’s recent homophobic Instagram post which read ‘Hell awaits’ gay people.
Since posting the homophobic message, Rugby Australia have fired Folau but Vunipola – who is also a devout Christian – took to Instagram to express his views on the matter and said that ‘man was made for woman to pro-create’.
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So this morning I got 3 phone calls from people telling me to ‘unlike’ the @izzyfolau post. This is my position on it. I don’t HATE anyone neither do I think I’m perfect. There just comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in that you just say enough is enough, what he’s saying isn’t that he doesn’t like or love those people. He’s saying how we live our lives needs to be closer to how God intended them to be. Man was made for woman to pro create that was the goal no? I’m not perfect I’m at least everything on that list at least at one point in my life. It hurts to know that. But that’s why I believe there’s a God. To guide and protect us and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
But now, Saracens revealed in a statement that the England player has been formally warned following ‘lengthy discussions’ between the club and Vunipola.
The statement read: "The player has been formally warned about his future conduct.
"At Saracens, we are one family, open to all, with the firm view that everyone should be treated equally with respect and humility.
"We recognise the complexity of different belief systems and understand Billy's intention was to express the word of God rather than cause offence.
"However, he made a serious error of judgement in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the club and contravenes his contractual obligations."
Vunipola also released a statement saying his recent post never meant to cause any ‘suffering’ but instead to express his belief in God.
He said: "I can see that my recent post has hurt people. My intention was never to cause suffering.
"My intention was to express my belief in the word of God. These beliefs are a source of great strength, comfort and guidance in my life.
"Anyone who knows me, knows I live with kindness and love towards ALL people."