The 30-year-old rugby player is a known devoted Christian and his Instagram page is filled with Christian messages among which a most recent one was directed to homosexuals in particular, saying that “hell awaits” for “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators”.
The player was found by Rugby Australia’s code of conduct to have committed a high-level breach this week by posting a religiously-inspired, anti-gay comment on social media. It seems that he is now facing a suspension and/or a fine, but the sanction is not expected to be handed down for several days, with Rugby Australia not offering a timetable for any decision.
In case Folau gets terminated he will most likely launch legal action for unfair dismissal on the grounds of religious freedom, with the risk of going to court being in the case could go on for years if the parties involved do not agree to an out-of-court settlement.
Moreover, Israel Folau was recently dropped by sponsor Asics after the ruling of the conduct committee, the sportswear company stating: “Asics is dedicated to sport and its healthy contribution to society. We believe sport is for everyone and we champion inclusivity and diversity. While Israel is entitled to his personal views, some of those expressed in recent social media posts are not aligned with those of Asics. As such, our partnership with Israel has become untenable and he will no longer represent Asics as a brand ambassador.” Asics is the second sponsor to have cut ties with Folau after Land Rover withdrew a car issued to him.