The Rugby Australia hearing over an Instagram post made by Israel Folau has concluded that the player committed a “high-level breach” of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct.
The post, made at the start of April, featured a list of some types of people supposedly destined for hell, captioned with Bible verses:
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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. _______________ Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these , adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 KJV _______________ Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Acts 2:38 KJV _______________ And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Acts 17:30 KJV _______________
Folau faced backlash from the public but no punishment from Rugby Australia at roughly the same time last year.
The ruling was made by an independent panel composed of John West QC, Kate Eastman SC, and John Boultee, which oversaw a three-day hearing that concluded today. The hearing was launched after Folau challenged a breach notice Rugby Australia issued him.
Rugby Australia hasn’t decided on sanctions at this stage and has said that they will “take further written submissions from the parties to consider the matter of sanction“. In a statement issued after the post was originally made, Rugby Australia said that “in the absence of any mitigating factors” it was their intention to fire Folau.