Israel Folau gives defiant interview after Rugby Australia sacking
The heels are dug in.
Israel Folau may soon be playing his club rugby in Japan or Europe but, first and foremost, he says he now lives for God. That is his immediate future.
The Australian rugby star has had his playing contract with the Waratahs, his club, and the Wallabies, his country, terminated after a controversial social media post last week.
Folau came in for criticism on April 10, when the post (below) appeared on social media. The former rugby league star warned homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters that they were destined to go to hell unless they repented.
"Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent," Folau wrote as a caption. "Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him."
Having previously been warned by Rugby Australia, for what they saw as divisive comments, and that led to his contract being terminated.
Waratahs captain Michael Hooper spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald about the Folau situation. the 'Tahs captain commented:
"I’ve talked to Israel about his beliefs and stuff, just tried to become more educated on the topic and go from there.
"Like I said we’re rugby players, I’m not a politician, so as a teammate I’ve had discussions."
Folau was given 48 hours to appeal his contract termination but he appears to be accepting the decision and seeking to move on with his life.
In an exclusive interview with SMH, Folau gave a defiant response to the Rugby Australia sanction.
"I share it [the social media post] 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.
"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."
From those comments, Folau appears to be suggesting he is done with rugby.
His World Cup hopes appear to be in ruins but there are plenty of other rugby clubs out there that would be willing to take him on-board.