Rugby star Israel Folau has reportedly lost his sponsored car over the series of anti-gay comments he made on social media.
Rugby Australia’s new car sponsor Land Rover had given Folau a vehicle, but seized it just a week after his controversial Instagram post declaring that gay people are destined for hell, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The loss of the sponsor car is the first financial hit Folau has taken over to controversial comments.
He will still be able to get around in his own car, however—a Lamborghini that he bought last year.
Rugby Australia met with Folau after he made the remarks on Instagram, declining to sanction him but cautioning him to be more sensitive.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika suggested in a radio interview this week that Folau would refrain from making more inflammatory comments for the sake of the team.
“What’s happened has happened, it’s been dealt with now and it’s not going to be ongoing, so it’s not going to be an issue,” Cheika said.
“There’s been a lot of conjecture on this on this from all different sides, left wing, right wing and all that type of stuff. But we need to be focusing on the footy, and getting ourselves clear on a big series against the northern hemisphere champions.
“I’m going to be reminding guys what the team is about, what it means to be part of the team and then guys make their decisions from there.
“He understands that he doesn’t want to affect the team around those sort of things. And like I said, if it’s not ongoing then it’s not going to be an issue.
“Izzy wants to be part of the team, not just now but in the future as well. Some people think he’s using it as some kind of tactic to get out of playing but if he wanted to go, he could go easily. He wants to play rugby.”
Folau has drawn criticism for his anti-gay comments, from figures as diverse as rugby players and the Tongan royal family.