It’s been hard to avoid the latest social media dust up involving footy player Israel Folau.
In case you somehow missed it, he posted a meme sharing his strong religious views. I’m not even going to reference what he wrote, because it’s extremely offensive to, well, almost anyone with a pulse.
(It’s also incredibly ironic, because in it, he calls out “idolators”. An idolator is a person who worships false idols. Says a guy whose career was literally built on the back of people idolising him. Without his sinning “idolators” he would have no career to speak of or platform to spew his views to… but I digress.)
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Back to my point… A lot of people have reacted to his strong religious views. A lot of people have called for him to be sacked by Rugby Australia, rightly pointing out that his views do not align with the views of a sport that is trying to promote diversity and inclusion.
Rugby Australia heard the people, and they responded… ripping up his $4m contract along the way.
But here’s the thing: why did Folau put his career and income at risk by continually sharing such divisive views?
A cursory glance at his Instagram page reveals that the highly charged Christian hype he’s been posting has been accelerating in recent months. It went from the odd post about Jesus here and a thank you to God there, to a constant supply of very strong religious rhetoric.
Browsing the reaction on social media, I think one user had cottoned on to why.
Adam Thompson points out:
I am pro-freedom of speech as long as it does not discriminate against others. Israel can be pro his religion without denigrating other people. He clearly wants out of his deal.
He left the NRL for money, he left the AFL because he wasn’t very good at it, and he is leaving the @wallabies because he doesn’t see them winning a World Cup. I am not religious, but am a big believer in the fact that faith can be a huge tool in people finding their best selves. But it can also be used by others to conveniently suit their choices and views. Israel wants back in the @nrl and is using his controversial ”views” conveniently to create a path to do so.”
It certainly puts a new spin on things, doesn’t it?
What do you think? Should Izzy have been fired by Rugby Australia over this post? Do you think it was a strategic move as he has other career plans elsewhere?