News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Folau banner.jpg
Folau.jpg
World News

'Persecuted' Christian rugby player Israel Folau attempts comeback with support of Australian billionaire

by Marcus Jones

Christian rugby star Israel Folau is planning a return to the sport in his homeland Australia after he was previously banned for suggesting gay people will go to hell.

Folau, who in his prime was widely seen as one of the best players in the world, hit the headlines after he was sacked by Rugby Australia. He later sued for unfair dismissal before settling out of court. 

Since then he's played in France for the Catalan Dragons. A clause in his contract meant he was unable to make similar comments linked to his faith.

He's now bidding to play for Southport Tigers in the Gold Coast League but needs the approval of league authorities something which they've previously suggested they would deny.

His return is being supported by billionaire Clive Palmer who has said he will fund legal action if Folau is prevented from playing.

"Israel doesn't drink, smoke or take drugs. He has never been charged with a criminal offence," Palmer said in a statement over the weekend. "He loves his wife and his son. He has a rugby playing record second to none.

"If he is not registered by Wednesday, I believe he will issue an injunction in the Federal Court of Australia against the QRL for their discrimination against him on religious grounds."

Palmer previously stated that he expected any legal court to stand against "religious persecution".

"We want an example where people of all faiths can play sport. Religious freedom is a fundamental right in this country," he said.

In a press conference last week, Folau was unrepentant about past comments. Speaking to reporters, he said:  "I stand as a Christian, I stand by the Bible and what the Bible says. Every written word that's in that book I stand by that."
 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email

Connect

Donate

Donate