June 24, 2019 | Sex & Society

GoFundMe pulls page of homophobic rugby player

Israel FolauGoFundMe removed a controversial funding page set up by a sacked Australian rugby player named Israel Folau.
Folau was a player under a multi-million dollar contract with Rugby Australia (RA). But after a series of homophobic social media posts where he said gays were going to burn in hell, he was dropped by the organization. He decided to sue Rugby Australia and created a fundraising site to get fans to pay his legal bills. He was hoping to raise $3 million.
GoFundMe removed the page this weekend and said all donations -- just over $500,000 USD -- will be refunded.
"As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity," said spokeswoman Nicola Britton. "While we welcome GoFundMe's engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion."
Folau, a Mormon, said he was obligated to share his faith. "Every Australian should be able to practice their religion without fear of discrimination in the workplace," he argued in a video to fans.
However, Rugby Australia said he breached his contract by making the anti-gay posts. The first time he shared homophobic messages he was warned by the organization to stop. When he did it again, RA fired him.
Chief executive Raelene Castle said RA had terminated his contract to "stand by our values and the qualities of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork".
Why is it so hard for people like Folau to just keep their hate to themselves?

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