Disgraced former rugby player John Hopoate has come out in support of Israel Folau after he said “hell awaits” gay people.
Hopoate wrote on Facebook in a since deleted post that he does not know why everyone is “so worried about what Israel Folau said.” A widely circulated screenshot of the post has been shared by News.com.au.
John Hopoate defends Israel Folau: ‘God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve’
“All these idiots carrying on like he’s murdered someone,” Hopoate wrote. “If your [sic] a bloody HOMO who cares, I’ve been called racist names and all other crap all my life and if you can’t handle been [sic] told your [sic] going to hell we’ll [sic] toughen the F up cause no 1 cares if you do or if you don’t.”
“But 1 thing I can say is GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE,” he concluded. He also added a lengthy hashtag that said: “If the boss of the major sponsor is a homo look for another sponsor.”
Comments made by Israel Folau on Instagram and Twitter have been widely condemned since he made them last week.
Israel Folau will likely be sacked for his anti-gay comments
In a post on Instagram, Folau said “hell awaits” gay people. He also urged LGBT+ people to “repent” and “turn away from your evil ways” on Twitter.
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However, Hopoate is not Folau’s only supporter. England rugby union player Billy Vunipola came out in defence of him last week on Instagram.
On Monday, Raelene Castle, chief executive of Rugby Australia, said Israel Folau’s anti-gay comments would not go unpunished.
“But 1 thing I can say is GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE.”
– John Hopoate
“Following the events of last year, Israel was warned formally and repeatedly about the expectations of him as player for the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs with regards to social media use and he has failed to meet those obligations.
“It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action.
“All professional Rugby players in Australia are bound by the Code of Conduct and there is a process in place for any disciplinary matter. We appreciate that this particular matter will attract significant interest, but due process must be followed.”
John Hopoate is one of the most suspended players in the modern era
John Hopoate is not new to controversy. In 2001, he reportedly put his finger into the bums of other rugby players in an attempt to provoke them. He was ultimately forced to resign as pressure mounted on the club to sack him over the move.
Hopoate has made a name for himself as the most suspended player in the modern era.
The screenshot of the now deleted Facebook post shows that it was liked over 800 times.