Israel Folau faces backlash for anti-gay remarks again

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Rugby Australia, Folau’s team Wallabies main sponsor Qantas Airways, and even New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are among the figures and LGBT groups condemning the player’s homophobic views he expressed on social media. The player, who is a Christian, said several times that gay people should have gone to hell according to the God’s plan. Folau’s posts were ‘liked’ by a number of fellow rugby players, such as fellow Wallabies teammates Samu Kerevi and Allan Alaalatoa and All Blacks flanker Vaea Fifita, as The Sydney Morning Herald and Newshub reported. Other rugby players instead participated in the backlash to Folau’s posts. Retired English rugby player Joe Marler reacted to Folau’s post simply posting on Twitter a picture of two men kissing, captioning the image with a heart. Welsh former rugby player Gareth Thomas, who is gay, urged not to hate Folau back but to show sympathy. Rugby Australia is now investigating Folau for his “unacceptable” comments, putting the player’s participation in further sporting events up for discussion just months ahead of the Rugby World Cup starting in September.

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