NRL chief says Folau gay comments not acceptable in league
Gold Coast - Israel
Folau's anti-gay comments would not be tolerated if he opts to switch
codes to rugby league, Australia's NRL chief warned on Friday as clubs
circle the Wallabies superstar.
The devout Christian, one of rugby's most marketable players, sparked
uproar this month when he said God's plan for gay people was "Hell.
Unless they repent their sins and turn to God".
He was summoned to a meeting with Rugby Australia this week over his
use of social media, but no action was taken other than Folau agreeing
to "think about" the impact of his remarks.
The 29-year-old's rugby union contract is up this year, and he has
attracted big interest from rival code rugby league, with reports that
up to six clubs are keen to secure his services.
National Rugby League chief executive Todd Greenberg warned such
comments about gay people would not be acceptable if he switches codes.
"Being inclusive can't just be a word on a wall. You have to live and
breathe it every day. Sometimes you get challenged on that.
Inclusiveness also means everyone gets their view," he told the Sydney
"But I'd be having the one-on-one conversation to talk through how
that is being portrayed right now. I don't agree with Israel's view,
despite having a really strong relationship and affection for him as a
person and player."
Greenberg said all athletes had to be careful in their public remarks.
"There are people who will read that and it will be quite damaging to
them. There are young boys and girls in cities and regional areas who
will read that and find it hard to deal with because Israel has a large
profile," he said.
"That would not have been his intent, but it is very damaging to some people."
The dynamic fullback played in Australia's National Rugby League from
2007-10, moved to Aussie Rules for two years before switching codes
again, this time to union, by signing with the New South Wales Waratahs.