Waratahs and Wallabies back Israel Folau has written an article explaining his views on homosexuality.
On 3 April, in response to a question from another Instagram user, Folau said God’s plan for gay people was ‘HELL… Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God’.
After a fierce backlash, Folau and his manager met with Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle and Waratahs boss Andrew Hore in Sydney on 10 April.
Castle applauded Folau for having strong beliefs but said his use of social media needed to be respectful.
In an article that appeared on the PlayersVoice website on Monday, Folau addressed this and other issues.
‘I do not know the person who asked the question [about gays on Instagram], but that didn’t matter. I believed he was looking for guidance and I answered him honestly and from the heart. I know a lot of people will find that difficult to understand, but I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to hear.
‘I think of it this way: you see someone who is about to walk into a hole and have the chance to save him. He might be determined to maintain his course and doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. But if you don’t tell him the truth, as unpopular as it might be, he is going to fall into that hole. What do you do?’
However, Folau insists he is not anti-gay.
‘Since my social media posts were publicised it has been suggested that I am homophobic and bigoted and that I have a problem with gay people. This could not be further from the truth.
‘I fronted the cover of the Star Observer Magazine to show my support for the Bingham Cup, which is an international gay rugby competition for both men and women. I believe in inclusion. In my heart, I know I do not have any phobia towards anyone.’
Folau added that he was ‘really disappointed with some of the things that were said’ by Castle at a press conference after she had met with him.
‘I felt Raelene misrepresented my position and my comments, and did so to appease other people, which is an issue I need to discuss with her and others at Rugby Australia.’