Netball Australia To Take No Action Against Maria Folau Over GoFundMe Repost

Maria Folau

Netball Australia, Netball South Australia, and the Super Netball league say no action is required against Maria Folau after she reposted her husband’s, Israel Folau, Instagram post asking for donations to his controversial online campaign.

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Maria, who plays for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Super Netball, reposted her husband’s ask for support on Instagram which aims to raise $3 million for legal proceedings. At the time of writing, the Folaus have raised nearly $700,000.

Rugby Australia tore up Israel’s $4 million contract in May after he shared a homophobic Instagram post. Despite being found guilty of a high-level breach of player conduct, Israel thinks the termination is “unlawful”, and intends to challenge Rugby Australia.

In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, Netball South Australia CEO Brownyn Klei said: “I want to be very clear that Netball South Australia is fiercely determined to provide an inclusive environment that allows anyone to participate in the great game of netball regardless of gender, religious belief, age, race, or sexual orientation. We also believe in fairness and perspective. 

“Like millions of other people across Australia, Maria Folau uses her personal social media platform to share her life and beliefs with her family, friends and fans. This week, she shared her husband’s controversial Go-Fund-Me post.

“While Netball SA in no way endorses the reposting, we do not believe Maria has contravened our social media policy.”

Netball Australia and Super Netball league also released a joint statement this afternoon.

The organisations said they are “committed to providing welcoming, inclusive, and supportive places for all people to play and watch our great game. 

“We are aware that Adelaide Thunderbirds’ athlete Maria Folau re-posted her husband’s GoFundMe page details via social media. There is no action required by the league. 

“We will continue to support Maria as a valued member of the Thunderbirds and the Suncorp Super Netball league. 

Shortly after SA Netball’s statement, netball great Liz Ellis slammed it as “not good enough.” 

“How about this: There is no room for homophobia in our game. Anyone who is seen to support or endorse homophobia is not welcome. As much as I love watching Maria Folau play netball I do not want my sport endorsing the views of her husband.”