Australian rugby legend Ian Roberts,, who is openly gay, says that remarks from the fellow rugby player Israel Folau about ‘hell awaiting’ for gay people were extremely harmful for the LGBT community and the society in general. “I don’t say this lightly what I’m about to say—the language I use is hard and it’s for a point, it’s to get that message across,” Roberts told Channel Nine, “There are literally [gay] kids in the suburbs killing themselves. I say that with the greatest sense of respect, and I’m not implying that Israel’s responsible solely for that, please don’t take it that way. But it’s these types of comments and these off-the-cuff remarks, when you have young people and vulnerable people, kids in the suburbs, who are dealing with their sexuality.[They’re] confused, not knowing how to deal with it, these type of remarks… can and do push [kids and] people over the edge.” Roberts was the first rugby player to come out while professionally playing in 1995, three years later he retired from sport.