Controversial Christian rugby player Israel Folau has signed onto a new team that’s promised to terminate him should he vocalize his Christian beliefs on homosexuality.
The Catalan Dragons, a France-based team that plays in England, approached Folau shortly after he was fired from his Australia team in May for making comments on his Instagram saying that “all drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators” will go to Hell.
Critics expressed their dismay at the news. Keegan Hirst, the only openly gay player in the league, discussed his outrage with BBC Radio 5 Live, according to The Guardian.
“Rugby league champions itself on being tolerant, inclusive, and diverse and people work really hard promoting those values and this signing and the lack of being able to stop it by the [Rugby Football League] and Super League is a slap in the face to all those people’s hard work. Anyone who has a moral compass or values, this is alienating and undermining those people…I will never watch him,” he said.
Other teams used the opportunity to make a statement. Wigan Warriors announced only an hour after the signing that they would hold their Pride Day fixture the same day they play against Folau’s team, according to The Sunday Times.
But the Catalan Dragons believe the outrage will calm down in time.
“When the moods of each other [side] have subsided, we will judge that this player is perhaps the best coup in the history of this sport and of [the club] in France,” said Dragons chairman Bernard Gausch. “We will then savor the exemplary player he is. I know he will delight the Catalan public. We do not share or tolerate his opinions and we are totally committed to making our club and our sport open and welcoming to everyone.”
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Source: Christian Headlines