Israel Folau refuses to back down over anti-gay post

Date published: April 14 2019

Australia and Waratahs back three player Israel Folau has refused to repent, despite posting on Instagram that “hell awaits” for gay people.

Folau has widely been condemned by both those inside and outside of rugby for the social media comment, while Rugby Australia have stated their intention to terminate his contract.

The 30-year-old has previously met with the governing body to discuss the matter, but RA’s position remained unchanged following the talk.

And it seems as though the 73-times capped international is not going to back down either, despite it potentially costing the full-back his job.

“It’s obviously a decision that’s in the process right now but I believe in a God that’s in control of all things,” Folau told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Whatever His will is, whether that’s to continue playing or not, I’m more than happy to do what He wants me to do.”

Although his union career appears to be over, Folau is not concerned should Rugby Australia be able to take the next step of ripping up the contract he signed in February.

He said: “First and foremost, I live for God now. Whatever He wants me to do, I believe His plans for me are better than whatever I can think. If that’s not to continue on playing, so be it.

“In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I’ll definitely miss it. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first.”

The Australian international also admitted that he has not been surprised by the reaction to his post, but refused to reconsider the comments he made.

“Obviously, it’s a tough time but for me I find comfort in obviously what the Bible says,” Folau added.

“Those that live for Christ will be persecuted for his name. So for me, [the reaction] wasn’t a surprise. I have love towards everyone that might be saying negative things… I choose to love them because God loves me.

“I’ll stand on what the Bible says. I share it with love. I can see the other side of the coin where people’s reactions are the total opposite to how I’m sharing it. But in Ezekiel, chapter 33, verse 11, it says that ‘God has no pleasure in the person that’s living in sin…’

“He’s a loving God and he wants people to turn away from what they’re living in and he’ll give them life. That’s the message that I’m trying to share, even though it comes across as harsh. I can’t change what the word of God says.”