Israel Folau has launched legal action against Rugby Australia and club side the Waratahs after his playing contract was terminated over controversial social media posts.
Folau’s £2.15million, four-year deal was cut short after an independent panel backed RA’s position that the comments he made on April 10 warranted his sacking rather than a fine or suspension.
The 30-year-old devout Christian said on his Instagram account that “hell awaits” for “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters”.
Legal representatives for Folau have confirmed to Press Association Sport they have filed an application to the Australian Fair Work Commission and are seeking a declaration that his employment was unlawfully terminated because of his religion.
Folau, who also played rugby league for the Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos before switching codes, said: “I will forever be grateful and proud to have played the sport I love for our nation.
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“Ours is an amazing country built on important principles, including freedom of religion. A nation made up of so many different faiths and cultural backgrounds will never be truly rich unless this freedom applies to all of us.
“The messages of support we have received over these difficult few weeks have made me realise there are many Australians who feel their fundamental rights are being steadily eroded.
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“No Australian of any faith should be fired for practising their religion.”