Controversial footballer Israel Folau told the annual conference of the Australian Christian Lobby over the weekend that he knew the social media posts that lead to his sacking by Rugby Australia would offend people before he made them, but did them anyway.
He told attendees at Sydney’s International Conference Centre that he had made a “crazy prayer” for God to test his faith.
“I felt really content in my work, with God and how everything was going,” Folau told the crowd.
“All of a sudden I wanted to pray a crazy prayer and ask the Lord: ‘Lord, you know I’m feeling really comfortable at the moment, it’s going to test my faith and it’s going to test my trust. Am I going to continue to serve you faithfully?’
“And God prepared this [legal stoush] for me. So, be careful what you wish for. God can give it to you.”
Folau told the conference that this “crazy prayer” has been in his thoughts at the moment when he hit send on the posts that called transgender people “evil” in relation to birth certificate reform and said “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators” would go to hell unless they repented.
Asked whether he would behave in the same way if he had the chance to do it all over again, he said he wouldn’t have done anything differently.
“I knew it was going to be offensive to a lot of people,” Folau said.
Folau is fighting Rugby Australia over his sacking in the federal court, which came after he had already been warned about his social media posts and had agreed to abide by the sport’s code of conduct for professional players.
This new admission would seem to undermine his case even further.