Israel Folau Reckons He’s Being Persecuted Over His Anti-Gay Views
IMAGINE what it's like to be persecuted.
Wallabies player Israel Folau should have probably learned that voicing homophobic views on social media isn’t the best idea: since he said on Instagram last week that God’s plan for gay people was “hell”, Rugby Australia has condemned him and Qantas has publicly mused about whether to withdraw its sponsorship.
But Folau… just keeps going. On Sunday night the star tweeted a Bible verse:
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake,” it read.
“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
— Israel Folau (@IzzyFolau) April 8, 2018
The message seems clear: Folau believes he’s being persecuted for taking a stand over his religious beliefs.
The tweet came just hours before Folau was due to meet with his two bosses: Rugby Australia executive Raelene Castle and Waratah’s boss Andrew Hore.
The trio were set to discuss Folau’s recent Instagram comments about homosexuality.
In response to the question “what was gods plan for gay people??”, Folau last week said:
“HELL.. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”
Doesn't quite fit with Israel Folau's "I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions" line from last year. pic.twitter.com/A023XnxRBd
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) April 3, 2018
Last year, Folau said he would not vote for marriage equality in the postal survey, tweeting “I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions but personally, I will not support gay marriage”.
The Australian reported over the weekend that Qantas was considering pulling out of its lucrative sponsorship deal with the Wallabies.
The Australian reported — before Folau’s recent tweet — that Qantas executives “would not tolerate more controversial statements regarding homosexuality”.
Folau’s own rugby future is uncertain, too. His contract ends at the end of this year – and he may be in a weaker position to negotiate after technically violating Rugby Australia’s inclusion policy.
The policy notes that “there is no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game”.