Australian rugby player Israel Folau's crowdfunding campaign shut down

Australian rugby player Israel Folau's crowdfunding campaign shut down

Yet ANZ - the largest sponsor of New Zealand's domestic netball competition - revealed it approached Maria's bosses to complain because the Kiwi athlete had shared a link to the fundraiser of her husband, who is engaged in an unlawful termination claim against Rugby Australia.

"We value our partnership with Netball NZ and any suggestion we have tried to pressure them is absolutely incorrect", ANZ said in a statement.

Folau's four million Australian dollar (2.7 million US dollar) contract with Rugby Australia was terminated in May after the body found he had breached its "inclusiveness" commitment by sharing a homophobic biblical passage on his personal social media.

RA sacked Folau after he paraphrased a biblical passage on social media saying "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" would go to hell unless they repented.

'Today we will be closing Israel Folau's campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors'.

Folau announced earlier this month that he had begun legal proceedings against RA and the Waratahs at the Fair Work Commission (FWC), an industrial relations tribunal, casting the action as the pursuit of his "right to religious freedom".

Sacked former Wallabies fullback Israel Folau was dealt a massive blow this week when his GoFundMe page was taken down by the website for breaching their terms, despite raising over $750,000 in a matter of days.

But the Australian Christian Lobby put its website resources behind a campaign relaunch and by midday Wednesday had helped raised more than $1.75 million.

The amount includes a $100,000 donation by the ACL itself, which is among vocal supporters of Folau.

"To those who have criticised me, I bear no ill will towards you".

"GoFundMe's decision to shut down my campaign proves the importance of my case; whether you share my faith or believe in my right to express it, attempts to sanction what we believe is a threat to all Australians".

"The quiet Australians are speaking with their wallets", he told Seven's Sunrise program.

"This is a religious freedom issue which has implications for law and public policy", he said.

"It doesn't surprise me at all".

Because a person has financial means above some others should not preclude them from protecting their financial position by asking for help.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is also a Pentecostal Christian like Folau, branded Folau's comments as "insensitive".

"We appreciate the complexities of the Folau matter and acknowledge that views do differ in the community, however, we do not support Maria Folau's stance on this matter", an HCF spokesman said, according to Nine Media.

"First and foremost, I want to be very clear that Netball South Australia is fiercely determined to provide an inclusive environment that allows anyone to participate in the great game of netball regardless of gender, religious belief, age, race or sexual orientation", Klei's statement said.

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