SYDNEY (AP) — Rugby Australia says it plans to terminate Israel Folau’s contract after the star fullback made anti-gay comments on social media for the second year in a row.
RA chief executive Raelene Castle said she and NSW Rugby Union chief Andrew Hore made “repeated attempts” to contact Folau directly and via his representatives on Thursday but that he failed to communicate with them.
“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,” Castle said.
“In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”
Folau, one of the sport’s top players, published a message on his Instagram account late Wednesday that hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators.”
The decision comes just five months before the start of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.