The New Zealand Herald
Will Folau play persecution card following hell-for-gays backlash?
Israel Folau appears to be positioning himself as persecuted in the debate surrounding the views he expressed on gay people, before a meeting with rugby bosses.
The Wallaby has tweeted a Bible verse seemingly alluding to being persecuted for his Christian views.
Folau caused uproar when he said last week gay people were destined for hell unless they repented their sins.
Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle and Waratahs chief Andrew Hore are to meet Folau today over his use of social media, after the nowdeleted comment, which contrasted with the pro-samesex-marriage position of RA’s major sponsor, Qantas.
Folau posted to Twitter late on Sunday the Matthew 5 verse stating, “blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”
Castle last week said Folau’s “personal religious beliefs” did not represent the view of RA or NSW Rugby.
“We understand that Israel’s comment has upset a number of people and we will discuss the matter with him as soon as possible,” Castle said in a statement.
It’s unlikely either side will easily give up their position but RA and the Waratahs will hope Folau can be persuaded not to continue expressing such a controversial stance publicly.
Off contract at the end of the year, three-times John Eales Medallist Folau has seemingly contravened RA’s inclusion policy.
“There is no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game and our actions and words both on and off the field must reflect this,” the policy states.