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'The Good Lord taketh away': Callers react to Folau's latest setback

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Monday, 24 June 2019, 3:09PM
Israel Folau continues to fight back after being sacked by Rugby Australia. (Photo / Getty)

Israel Folau has once again faced setbacks in his battle against Rugby Australia - but will this latest move hurt or help his cause? 

GoFundMe has removed Folau's fundraising page from its website and is issuing refunds to all his donors, saying the campaign breached its terms of service.

"Today we will be closing Israel Folau's campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors. After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service," said Nicola Britton, GoFundMe's Australia Regional Manager.

"As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity. While we welcome GoFundMe's engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.

"In the days since Mr Folau's campaign launched, more than one million dollars have been donated to hundreds of other campaigns, large and small, across Australia. Those acts of kindness are the heart of GoFundMe.

Folau launched the campaign on Friday. He asked for support to fund his legal battle against Rugby Australia, which terminated his $4 million contract in May after a post he made on social media was deemed homophobic. It followed a similar incident last year.

His April post on Instagram said: "WARNING Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers, Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolaters HELL AWAITS YOU Repent! Only Jesus Saves".

Folau has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia and is seeking up to $10 million in damages.

The former Wallaby and committed Christian thanked donors over the weekend, and said he was "unsurprised" by criticism from RA and others over his decision to set up the page.

"The money that is donated will be used to fund my legal battle, which could take years. While the attacks against me have shown I have a big fight on my hands, I will stand strong," Folau wrote on social media. "Your support and my faith in Jesus Christ will give me strength."

While many relished in the result, others feared the heavy-handed response could work in Folau's favour.

Others encouraged Folau to continue to fight. "GoFundMe bends a knee to the LBG mob and joins the pack attack on Folau," columnist Lawrence Money tweeted. "He should set up his own fund. He'd collect even more after this."

Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine added: "The haters and Christophobes have forced Israel Folau's church into hiding and GoFundMe appears to have closed his account, in the usual illiberal way of woke corporates. Did you know GoFundMe takes 5 per cent of donations? So it's reaped $40,000 from Folau."

Talkback callers to Andrew Dickens were mixed in their support, with some questioning whether this will add credence to Folau's claims around free speech and prejudice, while others asked argued that he is simply facing the consequences for his actions. 

ON AIR: Andrew Dickens Monday Afternoons

12PM - 4PM