SYDNEY- Rugby Australia (RA) has declined to sanction Israel Folau over his anti-gay comments last week and will instead continue a dialogue with the Wallabies back over his social media use.
The RA chief executive Raelene Castle and Andrew Hore, the CEO of Folau’s Super Rugby team New South Wales Waratahs met with Folau on Tuesday after the player an Evangelical Christian, wrote on his Instagram page that gays would be condemned to “hell” if they failed to “repent.
The comments sparked outrage on social media and criticism from a key sponsor.
Castle acknowledge that the player’s comments did cause, “grief to some people” but did not want to comment on whether he had agreed to tone down his views in his social media posts.
She said, “Israel has presented his situation to us, where his views are, where his beliefs are,”
“But at the same time Rugby Australia has also got a policy and a position of inclusion and using social media with respect.”
RU said that Folau’s views were personal and did not represent the rugby union’s views.
His comments did make his relationship with the union and sponsors “challenging”, she added,
“Now both of us are going to go away and continue that dialogue, and work through how we continue to use how our social media platforms in a way that can ensure that all of our stakeholders are respected in the use of social media.”
“We’re in negotiation with Israel to extend (his contract) and we’d really like him to stay in rugby. That’s hugely important to us,” she said.
“He’s a great player and he’s delivered some great outcomes for us. He’s been a really strong role model in the Pasifika community.
“We also know that he’s an athlete in demand and there’s going to be other people looking to try and move him.”
Photo Credit- iOL