After Israel Folau met with officials from the sport’s governing body last week, Rugby Australia addressed the media by saying that Folau had committed a high-level contract breach which would result in their intention to sack him. They gave him 48 hours to either accept the sanction or have the matter referred to a code of conduct hearing. In a brave and principled move, Israel Folau has now decided to challenge the breach notice that Rugby Australia had issued him on Monday.
Rugby Australia’s decision to sack him follows his online comments that he posted on social media which listed several groups of people such as homosexuals, transgendered people, drunks, adulterers etc that were going to hell. Folau firstly took to twitter to caution that “the devil has blindsided so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways”. This comment was in relation to the far-left extremist decision taken by the Tasmanian parliament in introducing gender-optional birth certificates.
Several hours later he wrote on Instagram saying “those that are living in sin will end up in hell unless you repent”. These positions are common Christian belief and Folau had every right to express this view. There is no way Rugby Australia can claim that people would believe that his personal views reflected their position as an organisation on the topic at hand. It seems though that when the far-left CEO of Qantas (Alan Joyce) and other corporate heavyweights apply pressure in such circumstances due to their feelings being hurt, that sporting organisations bow down as it has all become about money rather than the game itself.
Rugby Australia said that “whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he cannot share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality. Rugby is a sport that continuously works to unite people. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated. As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action”.
The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) said that they would not support his registration to play NRL after there was talk he may switch codes. Chairman Peter Beattie said that “Israel Folau fails the NRL’s inclusiveness culture which is a policy strongly supported by the ARLC”. The ARLC have made it clear that Christian views are not tolerated within their organisation and that degenerate alternative lifestyles should be promoted under the usual SJW guise of diversity and inclusiveness.
How can we as a society not see this as discrimination towards Folau for his deeply held religious beliefs? This type of madness would be deemed an unfair dismissal case in any other workplace. Regardless of the public persona he may have, is it not reasonable that he is entitled to have an opinion and to express his views on his own social media account or does this organisation feel they can enslave and control their athletes? He didn’t say these comments on the field, so any argument made by Rugby Australia about not wanting association with him due to what he said off the field doesn’t stand. He should be entitled to free speech and freedom of religion, and it seems many are trying to strip him of these things. Although the ARLC is privately owned it does receive public money also and his views do not effect his performance on the field as an athlete, nor would it violate terms in any other decent workplace.
This decision will greatly hinder the Wallabies as they lose Super Rugby’s all-time leading try-scorer. Despite this tragedy Israel Folau had stated in the past that “this is not about money or bargaining power or contracts, It’s about what I believe in and never compromising that, because my faith is far more important to me than my career and always will be”. It is very rare to see someone have such strong conviction, and to stick by his principles regardless of consequences that will be unleashed at him.
John Hopoate has recently come in support of Israel Folau and has said that people need to “harden the f**k up”, and he isn’t wrong. Many conservative groups and individuals have rallied around Folau as they fear that such actions will continue to remove their right for a voice on non-politically correct issues. This is a great example of the slippery slope that was mentioned by many during the SSM plebiscite campaign.
We at The Unshackled believe that sport needs to return to basics and erase the politicised SJW politics that has engulfed it in recent times. Israel Folau is facing a David Vs Goliath battle here, but it is a battle that all of us on our side of politics face on a daily basis. We wish Folau all the best in taking up the fight to this organisation and hope that commonsense will once again prevail, not only in the sport and in this case in particular but in general so that cases like this don’t become a regular occurrence.
Senior Editor @ The Unshackled