Rugby star Israel Folau has come under fire after posting an anti-gay comment under a photo on his Instagram page.
The Waratahs player, who will miss four weeks on the field after a hamstring injury, posted an image on the social media platform about the more difficult road being part of “God’s plan”, a reference to his upcoming weeks on the sideline, according to MSN.
“Hell… unless they repent of their sins and turn to God,” Folau responded.
Rugby fans quickly took screenshots of the exchange and spread them around the internet.
Some Twitter users called on the Wallabies, Waratahs, and the Chief Executive of Rugby Australia, asking them if they wanted Folau as an ambassador for the sport.
Last year the rugby player came out against marriage equality, saying that he wouldn’t support a Yes vote in the postal survey.
Folau is one of Australia’s most prolific athletes, having played at the highest level in rugby union, rugby league, and Australian football.
Perhaps most interestingly about Folau’s vocal opposition to same-sex marriage and his recent anti-gay comment, is the fact that as recently as three years ago he graced the cover of the Star Observer for an article on eradicating homophobia in sport.
In the piece, a spokesperson for the Bingham Cup said Folau was a strong advocate for ending all forms of discrimination in sport.
“He does a lot of work in that space,” the spokesperson said.
Doesn't quite fit with Israel Folau's "I love and respect all people for who they are and their opinions" line from last year. pic.twitter.com/A023XnxRBd
— Ben Coles (@bencoles_) April 3, 2018