The St George Illawarra Dragons have decided against signing Israel Folau to a two year contract after only announcing the move yesterday.
“We understand there will be a range of opinions in regards to this decision, but we believe he would be a good addition to our club,” said Dragons Chief Executive Ryan Webb on Tuesday.
Tonight after a general meeting club officials have made a swift backflip in their pursuit of Folau. The decision came following discussions over a range of opinions and with consideration of the widespread backlash from fans and the sporting community in the last 24 hours, as well as damage to the team’s brand having all likely contributed to the team’s sudden retreat.
“While the Dragons did inquire about signing Folau, the club can confirm that such discussions have now ceased,” a statement read.
Folau’s previous remarks stand in opposition to the progressive attitudes on acceptance and inclusion in Australian sport, with the Australian Rugby League Commission stating that his public posts on LGBTQI rights were not in line with the league’s values.
“NRL is a code that prides itself as being a sport for everyone with strong values of diversity and inclusion.
“History has shown Mr Folau’s repeated failures to abide by sporting inclusion policies despite assurances.
“Sporting clubs must take a stand against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia when it happens and send a clear message to all Australians that discriminatory words and deeds will not be tolerated.”