Israel Folau Sacked for Expressing Beliefs on Homosexuality

rugby player

Rugby Australia’s top paid and arguably most valuable player, Israel Folau, has been fired. The outspoken Christian rugby player had a four-year, $4 million contract that was put in jeopardy due to a handful of comments he’s made over the last couple years about homosexuality. After days of deliberation by an independent panel, Folau’s contract has officially been terminated.

“I am deeply saddened by today’s decision to terminate my employment and I am considering my options,” Folau said after learning of Rugby Australia’s decision.

What Happened?

On May 7, 2019, the independent panel determined Folau had committed a high-level breach of his contract by posting controversial comments about homosexuality to his social media accounts. While this wasn’t the first time Folau posted about his Christian beliefs as they pertain to homosexuality, in April, the rugby posted an image to his Instagram account that warned “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators” that “hell awaits you.” The image also included quotations from passages of Scripture such as Galatians 5 which is where such belief is derived from.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19‭-‬21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Acts 17:30 KJV _______________

A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau) on

Folau released a statement about his termination, which is reprinted here:

It has been a privilege and an honour to represent Australia and my home state of New South Wales, playing the game I love.

I am deeply saddened by today’s decision to terminate my employment and I am considering my options.

As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression. The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God’s word. Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country.

I would like to thank my wife, Maria, for her love and encouragement to stay true to our beliefs. We have been humbled by the support we have received from family, friends, players, fans and the wider community.

Thank you also to those who have spoken out in my defence, some of whom do not share my beliefs but have defended my right to express them.

Is This the End of Folau’s Career?

It might be the end of Folau’s career with Rugby Australia, but he could potentially play for another organization, which would likely have to be in another country. However, Folau has 72 hours to appeal the decision with a different three-member panel. He has not said whether he will appeal the decision, although there are reports he is considering taking his case to the Supreme Court.

Folau indicated he believes he is being wrongly persecuted for simply quoting from the Bible.

Previous article50 Best Ideas to Teach the Armor of God for Kids
Next articleWhat If the Foundation of Discernment Is Hope and Not Suspicion?
Megan Briggs
Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for ChurchLeaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.