Israel Folau’s beliefs spark backlash

Wednesday April 18, 2018 Written by Published in Regional

TONGA – The president of Tonga Leiti’s Association is asking for Pacific sporting role models like Israel Folau to be more socially responsible.


There’s been a public backlash over Folau’s comment on social media two weeks ago that said gays were headed for “hell” unless they repented of their sins and turned to God.

The rugby star has since released an article to articulate his religious beliefs and the reason why he posted his initial comment.

But Henry Aho said people need to be more mindful with what they say publicly as it impacts on others like leitis who suffer ongoing bullying.

“If your belief is going to lead to people getting discriminated against or lead to people being suicidal, being cast out of their own families – it is important to revisit your beliefs to tap into your own humanity. Let’s be more tolerant and accepting of each other.”

Rugby Australia declined to sanction the Wallabies fullback over his views on homosexuality even though some sponsors have threatened to withdraw their support.

Former Wallabies coach Alan Jones said it’s time people “toughened up” and accepted that Israel Folau is entitled to believe that gay people are destined to go to hell.

Jones, now a radio host, said while he did not agree with the Wallabies player’s view, he was entitled to voice it and had to deal with the consequences of doing so.

Qantas, the named sponsor of the Qantas Wallabies, said its sponsorship would be reviewed if more such comments were made.

“What kind of world are we in? This is taking us back to the age of Stalin. It’s a terrible set-up,” Jones said.            

“I think we need courageous young people like this to stand up to this politically correct nonsense that you’ve got to agree with what everybody else says.” 

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