Crowdfunding company GoFundMe has said, “No dough for you!” to sacked homophobic rugby star Israel Folau.
Over the weekend, GoFundMe shut down the crowdfunding campaign launched by Folau to pay for his legal defense citing violations in their terms of service.
“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity,” said GoFundMe spokesperson Nicola Britton in a statement. “While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”
Britton noted that GoFundMe would be refunding all donations made to Folau’s campaign.
The campaign had garnered AUS$700,000 before being terminated.
The former full-back had set a goal of AUS$3 million as he prepares to sue Rugby Australia for stripping him of his four-year contract reported to be worth AUS$5 million.
The action was a result of homophobic social media posts. Folau is a fundamentalist Christian, and on April 10 he posted a graphic on his Instagram announcing homosexuals (among other people) “Hell Awaits You.”
After his contract was terminated, he challenged the decision and asked for a ‘code of conduct’ panel to decide.
“Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have made repeated attempts to contact Israel both directly and via his representatives since 6.30pm on Wednesday, and at this point he has failed to communicate directly with either organisation,” said Rugby Australia at the time.
“Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport,” the statement continued. “We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports the former rugby star has filed a complaint with Australia’s Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia and Waratahs Rugby Pty Ltd. saying “his employment was unlawfully terminated because of his religion.”
He is reportedly looking for AUS$10 million in damages.
Rugby Australia responded saying, “He was bound by a code of conduct for all professional player in Australia that spells out clear guidelines and obligations regarding player behavior, including respectful use of social media.”
After the crowdfunding campaign was shut down, Folau’s former teammate Drew Mitchell tweeted, “YOU are in fight that YOU chose to be in after YOU broke the terms of YOUR contract, the kids below are in a fight they NEVER wanted to be in & yet YOU think YOU deserve donations more than they do???!!”
Mitchell added, “It’s not longer about religion, it’s about YOU and YOUR greed.”
YOU are in a fight that YOU chose to be in after YOU broke the terms of YOUR contract, the kids below are in a fight they NEVER wanted to be in & yet YOU think YOU deserve donations more than they do??!!
— Drew Mitchell (@drew_mitchell) June 21, 2019
Mitchell might be on to something with that tweet.
According to TheAustralian.com, Folau owns 8 homes worth over $5 million.
He also apparently owns a $500k Lamborghini. So, why can’t he pay his own legal bills?
This isn’t Folau’s first brush with antagonistic applications of his view of religion.
In April 2018, Folau replied to a supporter in an Instagram post who asked, “what was gods plan for gay people?”
His reply? “HELL. Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”