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Israel Folau’s social media accounts disappear before legal battle over ‘homophobic’ posts

Ella Braidwood August 12, 2019
Israel Folau posted messages claiming "hell awaits" gay people.

Israel Folau posted messages claiming "hell awaits" gay people in April. (Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty)

Disgraced rugby star Israel Folau appears to have deleted his Instagram and Twitter accounts ahead of a legal battle against his former clubs.

Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia and New South Wales Waratahs in April after posting a paraphrased Bible passage on his Instagram page, which claimed gay people would go to hell unless they repented.

The post remained on his pages until Monday (August 12), when his Instagram and Twitter profiles were seemingly taken down.

Israel Folau no longer on Instagram or Twitter ahead of legal battle against former employers

However, his Facebook page is still live.

Folau is set to appear at a hearing at Federal Circuit Court on Tuesday (August 13), as he launches legal action against the two rugby bodies claiming he was unfairly dismissed for his religious beliefs.

The 30-year-old fullback is seeking $10 million in damages from Rugby Australia and to have his contract reinstated.

Israel Folau in the back of a car
Israel Folau leaves after a code of conduct hearing in Sydney on May 7. (Saeed Khan/Getty)

He was widely condemned by the international rugby community over his Instagram post in April, losing sponsorship deals with Land Rover and Asics.

The rugby star posted a meme on Instagram on April 10, which read: “Warning drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators – hell awaits you.”

Warning drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators – hell awaits you.

He added the caption: “Those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent.

“Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.”

Israel Folau posts “hell awaits” gay people message in April Instagram post

Also in April, Folau posted a link to news story on Twitter after Tasmania passed transgender rights reforms, adding: “The devil has blinded so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways.”

According to Australian site news.com.au, the April posts came as the last straw as Folau had posted two other comments expressing conservative religious views earlier in the past 12 months.

He reportedly responded to a question on social media about what God’s plan for gay people was if they did not repent, replying with “hell.”

In 2018, he allegedly posted a sermon from an Evangelical preacher, which targeted gay people.

 

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