Quantcast
Connect with us

Rugby star Israel Folau defiant after ‘anti-gay’ crowdfunding campaign shut down

Published

on

Rugby star Israel Folau said his resolve to fight his sacking for homophobic comments had “only been hardened” by criticism as a crowdfunding campaign for his legal fees was shut down on Monday.

Super Rugby’s most prolific try-scorer, who is planning a court battle with former employer Rugby Australia, had raised more than Aus$700,000 (US$486,000) of a Aus$3 million target from more than 7,000 donors.

But this will now be refunded after his GoFundMe webpage, set up on Friday, was taken down by the platform which said it wouldn’t “tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion”.

Folau’s camp accused GoFundMe of buckling under pressure and lashed out at “a continuing campaign of discrimination against Israel and his supporters”, which it said included his personal website coming under “what we believe was a sustained cyberattack”.

“Since requesting public donations to help him with his legal action against Rugby Australia, Israel and his supporters have come under intense scrutiny in the media,” a Folau spokesperson said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

“While Israel does not intend to respond in detail at this time regarding the accusations thrown at him or his family, he wants it known that these attacks have hardened his resolve,” a Folau spokesperson said in a statement.

“Thankfully, several organisations have already expressed interest in supporting Israel’s efforts to raise money for his ongoing legal case.”

GoFundMe Australia regional manager Nicola Britton said the campaign was removed “after a routine period of evaluation”.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service,” she added.

“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity.

“While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Folau, a devout Christian, was fired last month after a Rugby Australia tribunal found him guilty of “high-level” misconduct for posting on social media that “hell awaits” gay people and others he considers sinners.

He has taken his case to Australia’s employment watchdog the Fair Work Commission, asserting that he simply posted a message from the Bible.

He is reportedly seeking Aus$10 million, including for lost sponsorship and marketing opportunities.

ADVERTISEMENT

– ‘No room for homophobia’ –

Folau’s crowdfunding campaign had attracted criticism, with Australian media noting that he was one of the best-paid players in the world and owns a multi-million dollar property portfolio.

Folau was on a four-year contract worth more than Aus$1.0 million annually when he was sacked. Gay rights advocates launched a handful of other GoFundMe campaigns in response to his fundraiser.

ADVERTISEMENT

When Aus$500,000 was passed over the weekend, Folau, who has played 73 times for Australia, took to Instagram to thank his contributors, saying he was “humbled and overwhelmed”.

“I have received thousands of messages from supporters who believe discrimination in the workplace is wrong and has no place in Australia or anywhere else,” he said.

The shutdown of his appeal came as Australia’s most capped netball player lashed out at the sport for failing to sanction Folau’s wife, a New Zealand netball international, for supporting the GoFundMe campaign.

ADVERTISEMENT

Maria Folau, who plies her trade with Australia’s Adelaide Thunderbirds, flagged his campaign on her Twitter feed.

Netball Australia and the Thunderbirds issued statements saying they were committed to inclusive environments within the sport, but her actions did not breach their social media policies.

Liz Ellis, a former Australian captain, said their stance was “not good enough”.

ADVERTISEMENT

“There is no room for homophobia in our game,” she tweeted late Sunday. “Anyone who is seen to support or endorse homophobia is not welcome.

“As much as I love watching @MariaFolau play netball I do not want my sport endorsing the views of her husband.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump asked right-wing conspiracy theorist congressman to help him pick his next Director of National Intelligence

Published

on

On Monday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump is consulting with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) about who he should consider to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Nunes has led the Republican side of the House Intelligence Committee since 2015 and chaired the committee for four years, despite having no professional qualifications of any kind for that role. Since 2017, he has been known for his stunts and conspiracy theories intended to discredit the Russia investigation and throw suspicion on anyone who looks into Trump's conduct.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Conservative newspaper hilariously trolls Trump about his failure to build any new border wall

Published

on

Donald Trump on the US-Mexico Border

The conservative Washington Examiner trolled President Donald Trump for his failure to construct any new border barricade during his 30 months in office.

On Monday, Trump lashed out at the media on Twitter for not giving him positive coverage for his wall, which he erroneously claimed would be paid for by Mexico.

The Examiner replied to Trump on Twitter, posting an article headlined, "Trump has not built a single mile of new border fence after 30 months in office."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Here’s how a new study implies the Supreme Court has killed 16,000 people since 2012

Published

on

A new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research looked into the effects of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion to people below 138 percent of the poverty line, which has seen nearly 15 million people enrolled in participating states. The results were encouraging: the mortality rate for near-elderly adults has dropped over 9 percent in the four years for which data is available.

But while this is cause for celebration, The Atlantic staff writer Annie Lowrey offered a darker take on the implications of these numbers:

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image