Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Australia: Tongan footballer escapes sanction for what he said - but sponsors showdown looms

He said homosexuals would burn in Hell

Rugby Australia is set for an ugly showdown with its major sponsors after deciding to not take action against Israel Folau over his anti-gay comments in an Instagram post earlier this month.

Fairfax Media understands RA chief executive Raelene Castle is satisfied with the “respectful” way in which the Wallabies’ highest-paid player clarified his remarks in a first-person online column posted on Monday night.

In the column, Folau threatened to walk away from the game if RA officials wanted him to. He also took aim at Castle for misrepresenting his “position and comments” at a media conference following their meeting in Sydney early last week.

Despite this, Castle and RA are satisfied with his comments and will not take action against him. RA confirmed the news on Tuesday afternoon via a statement.

“In his article, Israel clearly articulated his religious beliefs and why his faith is important to him and has provided context behind his social media comment," Castle said. "In his own words, Israel said that he did not intend to upset people intentionally or bring hurt to the game. We accept Israel’s position.

“Rugby Australia will use this experience as an opportunity to remind all employees of their obligation to use social media in a respectful way.”

But the decision to bend for the renegade Wallabies and Waratahs player, who is off contract at the end of this season, is set to anger major sponsors who have been watching the issue fester over the past two weeks. In their eyes, there has been a major backflip.

Castle and RA have been under enormous pressure from Folau’s closest allies, not least influential broadcaster Alan Jones, to allow him to say what he wants because of his religious beliefs.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do not feel any need to accommodate people with twisted minds !