A Rugby Australia source has revealed that former CEO Raelene Castle received a death threat from an Israel Folau supporter at the height of last year’s controversy, when the organisation cancelled his contract over social media posts.
Last May, Folau was made to attend a three-day code of conduct hearing, after posting several anti-gay messages on Instagram and refusing to take them down. Per a report in Fairfax, the incident in question occurred during this period.
A Folau supporter allegedly contacted Raelene Castle on Facebook and made threats against her life. The nature of the threat has not been revealed, but the organisation took it seriously enough that they beefed up security around her.
There were reportedly “concerns” that the person who made the threat might try to come to Rugby Australia’s officer. Measures were taken to ensure this could not happen, and staff were told not to prop open doors on the ground floor.
A “security review” was also undertaken of Castle’s Sydney residence to make sure it was safe, although it is unclear whether any threats were made against her home.
Raelene Castle resigned as the CEO of Rugby Australia this week, after two and a half tumultuous years in the top job. She told ABC News on Thursday:
“I love rugby on every level and I will always love the code and the people I have had the honour of working with since I took this role. I made it clear to the board that I would stand up and take the flak and do everything possible to serve everyone’s best interests.”
“In the last couple of hours, it has been made clear to me that the board believes my no longer being CEO would help give them the clear air they believe they need. The game is bigger than any one individual – so this evening I told the chair that I would resign from the role.”
A replacement has not been announced.