The Rugby Football Union is to meet England player Billy Vunipola's after he defended a social media post by Australian rugby star Israel Folau claiming that “hell awaits” gay people.
Vunipola, who plays his club rugby for Saracens in London, ‘liked’ Folau’s post and called for people to “live their lives how God intended’, adding that “man was made for woman to procreate”.
Meanwhile, it’s expected that Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union will terminate Folau’s multi-million dollar contract as a result of his remarks.
Folau, who has 73 caps for his country and was expected to play in this year's World Cup, posted on Instagram that “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters” should “repent” because “only Jesus saves”. He made similar remarks on Twitter.
The posts followed on from one in which he wrote, “God’s plan for gay people was hell”.
In a statement explaining their decision, the governing bodies said: “Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport.”
They went on to say: “As a code we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.
“In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”
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