After nine months off the field, former Wallaby Israel Folau is set to return to rugby league with a France-based club.
The Catalans Dragons have been widely criticised for signing the one-year deal with Folau after the former Australian rugby star was sacked for posting a paraphrased Bible verse on his Instagram account.
Catalans chairman Bernard Guasch said his club does not share or condone Folau’s Christian beliefs, but wanted to give Folau a “new opportunity to shine on the pitch.”
“We do not believe that those views should be publicly expressed, especially by a high-profile sports person,” Guasch said.
“We have a signed agreement with the RFL. Any transgression will trigger an immediate termination of Israel’s contract and a substantial fine for the club.”
Anger over the signing reportedly prompted the club to backtrack on their plan to unveil Folau at a media conference. The Super League club will instead film the unveiling in-house and distribute vision to the media.
No-one who quotes the Bible should ever be allowed to work again.
They should be hounded out of the country and then harassed to the ends of the earth.
It's a beautiful thing to watch 'tolerance' and 'diversity' in full force. 🙄
— james macpherson (@jamesmacpherson) January 29, 2020
English Super League club Wigan Warriors responded to the signing by announcing the match against Folau’s new club in March would be dedicated to LGBTQ+ Pride. The game will see the Warriors wearing rainbow socks and laces.
“Here at Wigan Warriors we are committed to the core values of inclusion and respect,” said Wigan CEO Kris Radlinski with a remarkable lack of self-awareness.
“Our community foundation have a long history of supporting local LGBTQ+ groups and initiatives and we want everyone who engages with our game to feel welcome, valued and most of all, respected.”
Unless, of course, you’re a Christian.
Learn more 👇https://t.co/nvxK1VHHq1
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) January 28, 2020
LGBTQ advocates have applauded the move, which means “Folau will be forced to play a match in support of the very people he lost his job fighting against.”
On Tuesday, BBC Sport reported that rugby league club, Hull Kingston Rovers, sent Catalans Dragons a letter last week, warning them of legal action.
BBC obtained a copy of the letter in which, Hull KR owner, Neil Hudgell wrote to the Dragons to put them “on notice” if his club suffered “financial loss” due to the signing of Folau.
According to the BBC, a senior club source has said “nearly all” the Super League clubs have endorsed Hudgell’s threat and would also consider taking legal action for damages.
Once again, the ongoing Folau-saga has demonstrated that the preachers of “tolerance” and “inclusion” are the least tolerant and inclusive of all. While Folau is guilty of expressing his personal beliefs on his personal Instagram page, it is those who oppose him in the name of “inclusivity” that are making it abundantly clear that his sorts are not welcome in the game.
Despite what they may say, tolerance is not what they’re after. They’re openly intolerant towards Christians and they’re happy to discriminate against those who refuse to think the way they do. What these ideological tyrants really want is absolute approval. Nothing short of full, unwavering affirmation will be tolerated.