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TJ Perenara says equality is important following Israel Folau's homophobic comments

The Waratahs star has voiced his opinions on the controversial comments

2018-05-14

Waratahs star TJ Perenara said he would never push his views on other people following Israel Folau’s homophobic comments.

Folau caused controversary after writing on Instagram that all gay people will go to Hell unless they repent to God.

Following his comments, a number of other rugby stars have slammed the Wallabies player and Perenara hasn’t been shy about voicing his opinions.

In a series of tweets last month, the All Blacks player wrote: “"Let it go on record that I am 100% against the comments that were made by Israel. It was not ok to say that.”

And now in an interview with TVNZ, Perenara said “equality is something I’m staunch on”.

He said: “Equality is important to me, in all honesty. It’s not just that issue, I think equality in general is something I’m staunch on and that’s important to me.

“I grew up with people who now identify in the rainbow community and I’ve got family members who do also.

“So it is personal for me, but even if I didn’t, I’d still feel the same. I’d never push my values on anyone else, or force anyone to do anything, I think if people feel like it’s the right thing for them to do, then go out and do that.

“I’d never push my values on anyone else, or force anyone to do anything, I think if people feel like it’s the right thing for them to do, then go out and do that.

“But again, I made my statement I guess because it was important to me, and something I felt like I needed to do.”

The 26-year-old rugby star has helped the LGBT community in a number of ways including the New Zealand Falcons, collecting donations to support LGBT+ youth organisations Rainbow Youth and InsideOUT during a Canes Super Rugby match.

He also wore rainbow laces with three other teammates to support diversity in the sport.