Folau row a Waratahs “teaching tool”

By Darren Walton, Darren Walton is a Roar Guru

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    Israel Folau’s controversial social media posts have provided the NSW Waratahs with a “teaching tool” to educate players about online conduct, says coach Daryl Gibson.

    Folau’s future in the code remains clouded after the Wallabies superstar declined to provide Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle with an assurance that he would cease making anti-gay posts on social media.

    “It’s obviously new ground for everyone around the new age and how that’s pervasive in our society and I think as an organisation, while we do educate players every year around that usage, it’s a real opportunity for us to step that up and use this situation as a teaching tool,” Gibson said on Wednesday.

    Devout christian Folau met with Castle and Waratahs chief executive Andrew Hore at RA headquarters on Tuesday following his Instagram post last week in which he said gay people are destined for hell unless they repent their sins and turn to God.

    “For me, the opportunity in this situation as a head coach is looking at how we can further educate our players around using social media as a platform,” Gibson said.

    “As an organisation (we are) taking our responsibility seriously around stepping up and making sure we’re doing a good job in ensuring that players conduct themselves well and be very mindful of how their tweets and comments can potentially be perceived by those in the public.”

    Sidelined with a hamstring tear, Israel Folau cut a conspicuous figure as he worked quietly alongside other injured players at Waratahs training on Wednesday.

    Coach Daryl Gibson said he didn’t believe the three-times John Eales Medallist had isolated himself from teammates because of his controversial expression of religious beliefs.

    “In any team you’re going to have a range of different beliefs on a number of different issues,” Gibson said.

    “The great thing about society is we’re not all going to agree on different issues.

    “What we do agree on is the respect to hold a particular belief or view and that freedom of expression.

    “What we have to be mindful of is that when we make a comment in public, how that may be perceived … or the ramifications of any comment.”

    Folau is off contract at the end of 2018, with NRL clubs certain to be circling as RA and the Waratahs battle to retain Australian rugby’s biggest star.

    “I guess that’s something for the future,” Gibson said.

    “At the moment, our focus has been on rugby and the team we’ve been moving well forward and that’s what we’re going to keep doing.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • April 11th 2018 @ 5:33pm
      Brisvegas said | April 11th 2018 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

      Rugby on tomorrow yay

    • April 11th 2018 @ 8:59pm
      cuw said | April 11th 2018 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

      it is interesting that there has been no censure of IF by his team.

      a few years ago JackPot was censured for a homophobic comment – if i recall correct.

      of course it was something that happened on the field of play.

      interestingly Denny Solomona has been banned for 4 weeks by englands bosses for an alleged homo-comment.

      however Sale have been very unhappy since the event had only 2 people – the respondent and accuser and no other witnesses.

      • Roar Guru

        April 12th 2018 @ 6:58am
        Harry Jones said | April 12th 2018 @ 6:58am | ! Report

        J-Pot was fined AU$20,000 ($10,000 suspended) and had to attend mandatory sensitivity training. His (dumb) sledge was not actually directed at anyone who was actually gay. But, it was also not reflective of any bona fide religious belief. So, I supppse there is a bit of a distinction.

    • April 12th 2018 @ 8:14am
      Chris Bailey said | April 12th 2018 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      It’s good to see Izzy take his Bible so seriously, I mean look at Leviticus 19:28 “You are not to make incisions in your flesh on account of the dead nor submit to cuts or tattoos. I am the Lord.” For those playing along at home it’s Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 that are most often used to condemn homosexuality, but if you’re going to take one part of Leviticus, you need to take it all.

      How long before Izzy has his tats removed?

      • April 12th 2018 @ 12:38pm
        Ray said | April 12th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

        as long as he repents he will be okay.

        that was his point

        ps I don’t agree with Folau that people should repent for the sexuality, but its Folau’s right to believe that, as he has the right to believe all sinners need to repent.

        I don’t think Folau has ever shyed away from the fact he too is a sinner

        if you believe in all that or not it doesn’t matter

        this is a case of freedom of speech

    • Roar Guru

      April 12th 2018 @ 12:26pm
      Timbo (L) said | April 12th 2018 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

      Ah, political spin.

      One man’s “Devout Christian” is another’s “Cult Member” it is all semantics.

      If he made the same statement as a “Devout white supremacist” do you think the media would be tip-toeing around this one?

      • April 12th 2018 @ 12:45pm
        Ray said | April 12th 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

        nowhere in the bible dos it state people are going to be judged on their skin colour

        it does discuss sexuality sins and the fact that you will need to repent to get into heaven

        Folau has a right to spread the word of his religion even if we do not agree with it

        if you don’t agree with it you’re probably an athiest and don’t believe in it anyway. So what’s the problem?

        Just say you disagree and move on

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