As TheBlaze previously reported, Christian rugby star Israel Folau has been in trouble with Rugby Australia over his Instagram post last month warning "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters" that "Hell awaits" them.
What was the verdict?
Well, a "three-person tribunal" moved Friday to terminate Folau's four-year, $4 million contract over the post, CNN reported.
Rugby Australia chief executive officer Raelene Castle had the following to say about Folau's "high-level breach of the code of conduct," the network noted:
This is a decision that will change the landscape for sport in Australia and possibly across the world ... we wanted to make sure we took the time to get the decision right. While Rugby Australia accepts the panel's decision directing termination of Israel Folau's contract for his high-level breach of the code of conduct, we want to stress that this outcome is a painful situation for the game. In rugby, there is not a place for someone that puts their views or position in front of everyone else's. That is true of every employee that we have at Rugby Australia, not just the player base, every employee for Rugby Australia, we all need to work together and lived to the values of Rugby Australia.
CNN noted the decision "effectively ends" Folau's rugby career.
In addition, sportswear brand Asics dropped Folau's contract over the issue, CNN said in a separate story.
"We believe sport is for everyone and we champion inclusivity and diversity," Asics said in a statement, CNN noted. "While Israel Folau is entitled to his personal views, some of those expressed in recent social media posts are not aligned with those of Asics. As such, our partnership with Israel has become untenable and he will no longer represent Asics as a brand ambassador."
What did Folau have to say?
"I am deeply saddened by today's decision to terminate my employment, and I am considering my options," Folau said, the network reported. "As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression. The Christian faith has always been a part of my life, and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God's word. Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club or country."
He has 72 hours to appeal the decision, CNN said.
The network reported that Folau, 30, spoke at a Sydney church service and said he "could probably go back and be able to play the game and get everything back to the way it used to be. The way that Satan works, he offers you stuff that could look good to the eye and makes you feel comfortable. And if you go down that path, all the worries and troubles will go away."
However, CNN said he added a crucial caveat: "When we come to Christ it's no longer our will anymore. It's always the will of God that comes first."
Rugby Australia terminate Israel Folau's contract | Nine News Australia youtu.be