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Rugby Australia terminates Israel Folau’s contract, then assures other players they “fully support their right to their own beliefs”

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Rugby Australia has announced the termination of Israel Folau’s multi-million dollar contract after the rugby star last month quoted 1 Corinthians 6:9 on his personal Instagram account.

Raelene Castle, CEO of Rugby Australia, made the announcement today during a press conference, stating: “Israel Folau has today been issued a sanction directing termination of his playing contract for his high-level breach of the professional player’s code of conduct.”

Ironically, Castle went on to assure both Rugby fans and players that Rugby Australia “fully supports” their right to their own beliefs.

“Our clear message to rugby fans today is that we need to stand by our values and the qualities of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork,” Castle said. “Over the last hour, I’ve communicated directly with the players – all professional players – to make it clear that Rugby Australia fully supports their right to their own beliefs and nothing that has happened changes that.”

So, Rugby Australia rips up Folau’s contract because he expressed his own beliefs on his personal Instagram account, but then they turn around and in the same breath claim to “fully support [their players’] right to their own beliefs”?

Wait, what?! Is that provided they don’t communicate those beliefs to anyone else? Is that provided they’re not Christian beliefs? How can Rugby Australia sack someone for expressing their own beliefs and then claim to fully support their “right” to their own beliefs? What “right” are they in support of? The “right” to think without communicating those thoughts, nothing more.

A petition set up in support of Folau has so far reached just under 35k signatures. No doubt that number will continue to rise following today’s decision.

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