12 Apr 2019

Nehe Milner-Skudder slams Folau for homophobic comments

9:49 am on 12 April 2019

All Black and Hurricanes wing Nehe Milner-Skudder has slammed Israel Folau for his homophobic comments, saying they have the potential to do huge damage, particularly to young Maori and Pasifika fans.

Nehe Milner-Skudder playing for the Maori All Blacks against the British and Irish Lions in Rotorua last year.

Nehe Milner-Skudder. Photo: Photosport

Rugby Australia announced last night they intend to terminate Folau's contract following his latest anti-gay post.

Folau on Wednesday posted on social media that gay people would go to "hell" if they did not "repent".

The 30-year-old fullback posted similar comments last year but escaped sanction and signed a new deal with RA through 2022.

Milner-Skudder said Folau is wrong and his views are incredibly dangerous.

"The most disappointing thing is to see an influential Pacific brother (Folau), with a massive following, to see a post like that. It spreads hate, it spreads rejection, it spreads a message of intolerance and indifference. A lot of people will be affected by it, a lot of people that look up to him, especially our young rangatahi our Pasifika youth and it's not what they need to be hearing."

Milner-Skudder said players in positions of privilege have an obligation to spread messages of tolerance and inclusively.

He believes Folau's comments are divisive and ignorant and should be ignored.

"It doesn't matter the colour of your skin, your gender, your sexuality, we should be able to come together and love one another and respect one another and accept one another. Don't let his (Folau's) words influence you, love who you are, love who you want to be and just be kind to one another."

Milner-Skudder's comments were backed up by Japan captain, New Zealander and former Chiefs player, Michael Leitch, who said Folau's comments were "wrong on so many levels" and could be "a real stab in the heart" for people struggling with their mental health.

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To @izzyfolau . Hope this reaches you .

A post shared by Michael Leitch (@michael_leitch) on

Meanwhile Folau won't be welcome back in the NRL with the code set to deny the disgraced star a return to the sport.

Two hours after Rugby Australia announced they intended to terminate Folau's contract, Australian Rugby League chairman Peter Beattie said the sport has closed its doors to the former Kangaroos flyer.

Beattie said Folau doesn't pass their inclusively test and the ARL don't support him, playing rugby league again.

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