Israel Folau’s instagram post with a bible verse caption led to his contract’s termination. The three-person panel decided to terminate Folau’s four-year, 4 million dollar contract on Friday as a punishment for his social media caption.
The image that led to Israel’s contract being terminated reads: “WARNING, Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolaters, HELL AWAITS YOU REPENT! ONLY JESUS SAVES.”
Folau’s caption states:
Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.
Galatians 5:19-21, Acts 2:38, and Acts 17:30 were also included in his caption.
This post qualified as a high-level-breach of Rugby Australia’s code of conduct, especially the homosexuality part. The decision to dismiss Folau makes him the first Australian athlete to be dismissed for expressing his religious beliefs.
Folau rejected a 1 million dollar settlement from Rugby Australia before a code of conduct hearing over a week ago in Sydney.
“I believe in a God that’s in control of all things,” Folau said. “Whatever His will is, whether that’s to continue playing or not, I’m more than happy to do what He wants me to do.”
“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,” he said. “I’ll stand on what the Bible says. I share it 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.