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Australia’s first openly gay Rugby coach says Israel Folau should be sacked, not condemned

Israel Folau has confirmed court proceedings have been initiated against Rugby Australia for unfair dismissal.

The Wallabies star had his contract terminated in May over a social media post which claimed homosexuals and other groups of people would go to hell.

Folau and Rugby Australia failed to reach an agreement at a Fair Work Commission hearing in June with the 30-year-old launching legal action in the Federal Circuit Court yesterday.

Australia’s first openly gay rugby coach, David Oliver, phoned Steve Price saying the game’s administration has done the right thing.

“The sport absolutely has a responsibility to protect all of its participants and it has in this case.”

But he says Folau shouldn’t be condemned, instead hoping the star athlete can be a part of the solution.

“I’d love to meet Israel, I’d love to have a chat with him and just shoot the breeze with the whole situation.

“We can be better with this sort of stuff.

“This is going to be ugly and we’ll get through it but I hope people right now that might be struggling can get through it.”

Click PLAY below to hear David’s call to Steve Price

Mr Oliver shared his own experience of just how harmful homophobia can be.

“Having to hide my sexuality for a very long time… until the age of 33 and that caused me huge personal issues.

“The reason why I stayed in the closet is absolutely because I was involved in the sport of Rugby Union and just felt that I couldn’t come out.

“I ended up in rehab with a methamphetamine addiction.

“We need to consider the most vulnerable people, the most vulnerable kids out there that might be really suffering.”

 

Image: Fox Sports

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