Israel Folau Offers To Quit & Refuses To Back Down On Homophobic Comment
“I would walk away”
Wallabies fullback Israel Folau has accused Australian rugby boss Raelene Castle of misrepresenting him over his controversial comment about homosexuality.
In a lengthy column for the Players Voice, Folau admits that he offered to “walk away” from his contract if Rugby Australia felt he was damaging the game of Rugby Union.
“During the meeting I told them it was never my intention to hurt anyone with the Instagram comment, but that I could never shy away from who I am, or what I believe,” wrote Folau.
“They explained their position and talked about external pressure from the media, sponsors and different parts of the community, which I understand.”
He expressed his disappointment at some of the comments made by Castle in the aftermath to the meeting which was also attended by Waratahs general manager Andrew Hore.
“After the meeting I went home, turned on the TV and was really disappointed with some of the things that were said in the press conference,” Folau wrote.
“I felt Raelene misrepresented my position and my comments, and did so to appease other people, which is an issue I need to discuss with her and others at Rugby Australia. That aside, I hope Raelene and Andrew appreciate my position, even if it differs with theirs.”
Folau acknowledged how the organisations must appease everyone, but made it clear he would walk away before he backed down on his beliefs.
“I acknowledge Raelene and Andrew have to run things in a way that appeals broadly to their executive, fans and sponsors, as well as its players and staff. It is a business.
“I didn’t agree with Bill Pulver taking a stance on the same sex marriage vote on behalf of the whole organisation, but I understand the reasons behind why he did.
“After we’d all talked, I told Raelene if she felt the situation had become untenable – that I was hurting Rugby Australia, its sponsors and the Australian rugby community to such a degree that things couldn’t be worked through – I would walk away from my contract, immediately.
You can read his column in full here.