Ian Roberts says Israel Folau must realise his posts have consequences

Former rugby star Ian Roberts says embattled rugby player Israel Folau has to realise that his posts have consequences.

Roberts is the only Australian rugby player to come out as gay during their playing career, his 1995 announcement made him the first elite rugby player in the world to confirm that they were gay.

Folau is currently facing a Code of COnduct hearing over his social media posts that proclaimed that adulterers, gay people and atheists (among other people) were heading to hell. Folau is a devout Christian.

Appearing on Channel Nine on Sunday, Roberts said he felt sorry for Folau, but the high profile player needed to realise the effect his posts potentially had on people’s lives.

“I kind of … I do feel sorry for Israel,” Roberts said. “But there are consequences to your actions, and reactions.

“I don’t say this lightly what I’m about to say — the language I use is hard and it’s for a point, it’s to get that message across.

“There are literally kids in the suburbs killing themselves.

“I say that with the greatest sense of respect, and I’m not implying that Israel’s responsible solely for that, please don’t take it that way.

“But it’s these types of comments and these off-the-cuff remarks, when you have young people and vulnerable people, kids in the suburbs, who are dealing with their sexuality.

Robert’s said remarks like those made by Folau had the potential to push vulnerable people over the edge.

Folau’s code of conduct hearing was held over the weekend, but will extend into a third day on Tuesday.

OIP Staff


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