Rugby Australia’s decision not to sanction Israel Folau for his comments on homosexuality has prompted at least one key corporate partner to pull its support from the code.
Folau recently came under fire for posting that ‘hell’ was God’s plan for gay people, before he penned a personal essay defending his views and claiming that “sometimes the truth is difficult to hear”.
“For a number of reasons, there are no plans to move forward with our partnership,” managing director Andrew Shaw said.
“SOS supports inclusiveness and welfare of all athletes.”
However, other Wallabies partners have thrown their support behind Rugby Australia in light of Folau’s comments, saying that the code should be inclusive of all views.
One key Wallabies partner, Taylor Wines, said they would continue to support the team.
“Rugby is inclusive for everyone, whether you have religious beliefs or support same-sex marriage,” a spokesperson said.
A number of other sponsors are allegedly reviewing their position, with digital partner Accenture believed to be reviewing its position in the lead up to its contract in July.
Rugby Australia has revealed that it will not sanction Folau for his anti-gay comments or his claims that chief executive of Rugby Australia Raelene Castle had “misrepresented my position and my comments to appease other people”.
“Israel said he did not intend to upset people intentionally or bring hurt to the game,” Castle said.
“We accept Israel’s position.”