Israel Folau’s fundraising page has been shut down
Israel Folau’s fundraising page has been shut down by GoFundMe for promoting “discrimination or exclusion”.
The sacked Wallabies star launched the page last week, asking people to donate to his legal fight against Rugby Australia.
It caused widespread criticism, including from former Wallabies teammates, due to Folau’s significant personal wealth.
YOU are in a fight that YOU chose to be in after YOU broke the terms of YOUR contract, the kids below are in a fight they NEVER wanted to be in & yet YOU think YOU deserve donations more than they do??!!
— Drew Mitchell (@drew_mitchell) June 21, 2019
But it also generated a staggering amount of support, with more than $750,000 donated by supporters from around the world.
In his only interview since being stood down back in April, Folau exclusively told Alan Jones he wasn’t fighting for money but to “stand up for the word of God”.
GoFundMe Australia issued a statement on Monday morning saying the page will be closed down because it “violates our terms of service”.
“While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.” (see full statement below)
Every dollar that has been raised so far will be returned to those who donated.
Before the page was closed Ray Hadley issued a warning to those thinking of supporting Folau.
He said people have the right to give their money to whoever they like but pointed out a clause that stated the money wouldn’t necessarily be used for legal costs.
“There are special conditions that you should be aware of at the bottom of Israel’s GoFundMe page.”
Click PLAY below to hear Ray’s comments in full
Full statement from GoFundMe Australia
“Today we will be closing Israel Folau’s campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors. After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service.
As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity. While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.
In the days since Mr Folau’s campaign launched, more than one million dollars have been donated to hundreds of other campaigns, large and small, across Australia. Those acts of kindness are the heart of GoFundMe.
Our platform exists to help people help others. Australians have shown themselves to be among the most kind and generous people in the world. We look forward to helping more Australians fundraise for causes they care about in the coming months and years.”