Words: Steve Brown
Israel Folau has been fired by Rugby Australia.
The Australian rugby player has posted a number of homophobic posts on his Instagram account and his mkost recent post said that all gay people will go to Hell.
Following his latest post, the Wallabies star was suspended by Rugby Australia and now, after appealing the decision, he has been officially fired by the organisation.
RA chief executive Raelene Castle said: “This outcome is a painful situation for the game.
"Rugby Australia did not choose to be in the situation, but Rugby Australia's position remains that Israel, through his actions, left us with no choice but to pursue the course of action resulting in today's outcome.
"This issue has created an unwanted distraction in an important year for the sport and for the Wallabies team.
"But our clear message for all rugby fans is that we need to stand by our values and the qualities of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork."
In a statement, Folau said: "It has been a privilege and an honour to represent Australia and my home state of New South Wales, playing the game I love.
"As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression.
"The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and 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."