An independent panel has ruled against rugby player Israel Folau and backed Rugby Australia’s (RA) decision to terminate his contract over an Instagram post quoting the Bible.
RA claimed the post – which said hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars” and others, and called them to repent – was a ‘high-level breach’ of its code of conduct.
Folau, who has 72 hours to appeal the decision, says he is considering his options, and could bypass the sport’s disciplinary body and take his religious discrimination case to the civil courts instead.
Freedom of religion
In a statement, the international full back thanked those who supported his right to share his beliefs.
He said: “As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression.”
“Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country”, Folau added.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28”.
‘Will of God’
Earlier in the week, Folau revealed he had turned down offers from RA to save his contract by removing the post.
“The way Satan works is he offers you stuff that could look good to the eye and makes you feel comfortable. If you follow that path all the worries and troubles will go away.
“But it is always the will of God that comes first.”
Before the panel’s decision, he changed his Instagram profile picture to a large ‘1’ which said “God first”.
After the verdict, he posted a Bible verse: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28”.