Rugby Australia and Israel Folau have settled their legal dispute following a second day of court-ordered mediation proceedings.
The two parties agreed to terms of a confidential settlement, however in a joint statement released this afternoon, Rugby AU apologised for “any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus”.
Folau was sacked by the governing body earlier this year following a social media post stating that gay people, amongst other groups, would go to hell.
Rugby AU acknowledged that the post “reflected Mr Folau’s genuinely held religious beliefs, and Mr Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person”.
The statement also said that Rugby AU still “do not in any way agree with the content” which Folau posted.
Joint statement by Rugby Australia, NSW Rugby and Israel Folau
Rugby Australia, NSW Rugby and Israel Folau have today settled their legal dispute following the dismissal of Israel Folau after he posted a religious message on social media (the Social Media Post).
The Social Media Post reflected Mr Folau’s genuinely held religious beliefs, and Mr Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person when he uploaded the Social Media Post. Mr Folau wants all Australians to know that he does not condone discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of their sexuality and that he shares Rugby Australia’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby do not in any way agree with the content of the Social Media Post. Inclusiveness is one of Rugby’s core values and it welcomes all people to the game, including all members of the LGBTI community. While it was not Rugby Australia’s intention, Rugby Australia acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus. Similarly, Mr Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused.
Rugby Australia and Mr Folau wish each other well for the future. The Parties do not intend to comment further on the terms of their settlement as it is confidential.