Australia: Panel Upholds Firing Of Anti-Gay Rugby Star

The Guardian reports:

Israel Folau’s rugby career appears over after an independent panel backed Rugby Australia’s intention to rip up his four-year, $4m contract following the player’s controversial social media posts which said hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers” and others.

The three-member panel, comprising John West QC, Kate Eastman SC and John Boultbee AM, announced on Friday that it had decided to terminate the Wallabies star’s employment for what had been determined a high-level breach of RA’s code of conduct.

Announcing the decision on Friday afternoon, Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said it was a sad day for Australian rugby but that Folau had left the governing body with no alternative than to seek termination of his contract.

The Sydney Morning News reports:

An understandably gutted Israel Folau has issued a parting jab at Rugby Australia shortly after his official axing from the Wallabies. “It has been a privilege and honour to represent Australia and my home state of New South Wales, playing the game I love,” he said.

“I am deeply saddened by today’s decision to terminate my employment and I am considering my options. As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression.

“The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God’s word. Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country.”