Sport

Israel Folau: New Zealand's Brad Weber condems anti-gay remarks

Israel Folau: New Zealand's Brad Weber condems anti-gay remarks”

Bledisloe Cup - Australia's Wallabies v New Zealand All Blacks - Olympic Stadium, Sydney, Australia - 20/8/16Australia's fullback Israel Folau throws away his wrist tape before the end of the match.

However, that hasn't prevented other players from speaking out against him.

Perenara joined Weber in condemning Folau's comments in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

Perenara's comments echo those made by Chiefs halfback Brad Weber, who said he disgusted to be playing against someone that said gays would go to hell.

The Welshman, who has been in charge of more than 150 internationals, came out publicly in 2007 after attempting suicide at age 24, having struggled to come to terms with his sexuality.

'My cousin and her partner, and my Aunty and her partner are some of the most kind, caring & loving people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

A referee of more than 150 global matches, Welshman Owens has condemned Folau's view that gay people are destined for hell unless they repent their "sins".

Full-back Folau (pictured with wife Maria), a devout Christian, later said he never meant to hurt anyone with his remark, but could also never shy away from who he is. Notably, young Māori and Pasifika people.

'And that's what I wish people would think about and the way they convey their opinions and I wish they would try and understand that everybody's different.

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Folau is not the first Australian sportsperson to express controversial religious views.

"I'm still trying to build that relationship there (with God)", Alaalatoa said on Wednesday. It's not an attitude I want to see in the game I love.

"It's something for myself to look up to and hopefully at one stage in my life I could probably build towards".

"Rugby Australia will use this experience as an opportunity to remind all employees of their obligation to use social media in a respectful way".

While the All Blacks has tweeted that New Zealand Rugby is committed to diversity and inclusion. Do not let these comments keep you from being yourself.

Netball New Zealand chief executive Jennie Wyllie said her organisation had spoken with Folau's wife, Silver Fern shooter Maria Folau, about the issue but said it had not been a distraction at the Commonwealth Games.

His comments were described as "very disappointing" by Qantas airlines, a major sponsor of Rugby Australia, while global referee Nigel Owens, who came out as gay in 2007, said such comments could contribute to young people taking their own lives.

He said for him it was "not about money or bargaining power or contracts", but proclaimed his faith was more important than his career.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25).



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