24 Jun 2019

Folau losing support with legal fight fundraiser - FitzSimons

From Morning Report, 6:42 am on 24 June 2019

The Sydney Morning Herald's rugby correspondent Peter FitzSimons says Israel Folau's crowdfunding campaign seeking millions of dollars to fight his legal battle against Rugby Australia has lost him support.

The 30-year-old had his rugby contract terminated after posting homophobic messages on social media saying gay people who won't repent would go to hell.

Drew Mitchell, who played with Folau for the Wallabies at the 2015 Rugby World Cup has described the star as "greedy" in a tweet on Friday, saying he was disgusted more money had been donated to Folau's campaign than those of children with life-threatening illnesses.

Peter FitzSimons told Morning Report producer Jeremy Wilkinson Folau's campaign to raise three million has divided Australia.

In four days, Folau has raised close to $750,000 as of Monday morning. He has been supported by his wife netball star Maria Folau who has retweeted her husband's posts on her social media accounts including a link to his website promoting his GoFundMe campaign.

A statement from Netball Australia said the organisation was aware of the posts and said "there is no action required by the league".