Skip to main content

Home News News World

Israel Folau allowed to think about social media use after homophobic Instagram post

The rugby player caused uproar after saying LGBT people will go to Hell

By Steve Brown

Israel Folau has agreed to “think about” his social media use following a homophobic post on Instagram.

The highest paid Australian rugby player caused uproar after replying to “God’s plan for gay people?” on the photosharing app with “HELL… Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God” last week.

And despite meeting with rugby bosses, no action was taken against the devout Christian and Rugby Australia’s chief executive Raelene Castle said the two party’s had open and honest talks.

She told reporters in Sydney: “Israel has gone away to think about (his social media use), because for him he is proud of what he is and what he stands for, so he wants to make sure that we are not asking him to compromise those beliefs.

“But at the same time very much we explained to him that this is challenging for us and… how can he find a way that makes sure that he is not disrespectful, but it doesn’t compromise his own personal beliefs.”

The 29 year old’s contract is up this year and played in Australia’s National Rugby League from 2007 to 2010, then moved to Aussie Rules for two years before moving again by signing with the Waratahs.

However, the governing body is balancing whether to re-sign Folau after the demands of leading sponsors including national carrier Qantas – whose chief executive Alan Joyce is openly gay.

But Castle has said that Folau has “acknowledged” that he could have put a positive spin on his comments.

She said: “Israel has acknowledged that maybe he could have put a positive spin on that same message and done it… in a more respectful way.”

But Castle also admitted Rugby Australia wanted him to remain in the sport and called him a “great player” who “has been a really strong role model in the Pacific community.”