Billy Vunipola Explains His Israel Folau Post As Saracens Release Statment
England international Billy Vunipola found himself in a spot of bother on Friday when he decided to take to Twitter in support of Israel Folau and his controversial homophobic outburst.
Vunipola’s post did now go down well, with the RFU and Saracens releasing statements shortly after condemning his actions. He was also subject to a chorus of boos when he came off the bench for Saracens against Bristol on Saturday.
But the number eight has now released a statement to explain himself, stating it was never his intention to “cause suffering.”
“I can see that my recent post has hurt people. My intention was never to cause suffering. My intention was to express my belief in the word of God. These beliefs are a source of great strength, comfort and guidance in my life. This is deeply personal and does not represent the views of my team.
“Anyone who knows me, knows I live with kindness and love towards ALL people.
“I have faith. My Christian faith has sustained me through the ups and many downs of my life. God has given and continues to give me many reasons in life to be grateful.”
Saracens meanwhile released the following statement, noting Vunipola has been “formally warned.”
“Senior representatives of the Club yesterday held lengthy discussions with Billy Vunipola regarding his recent social media activity.”
“At Saracens, we are one family, open to all with the firm view that everyone should be treated equally with respect and humility. We recognise the complexity of different belief systems and understand Billy’s intention was to express the word of God rather than cause offence. However, he made a serious error of judgement in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the Club and contravenes his contractual obligations. The player has been formally warned about his future conduct.”