Israel Folau no longer being considered by Illawarra Dragons

Former Wallaby Israel Folau is no longer being considered for a return to the Australian professional rugby scene by the St George Illawarra Dragons.

It was revealed earlier this week that the New South Wales had formally approached the NRL over their intentions to recruit Folau, despite his sacking by Rugby Australia in 2019 over his views on LGBTQIA+ folks.

Sydney Morning Herald have now reported that the Dragons are no longer interested in Folau after criticism and feedback from fans on the potential $1million deal.

Australia’s leading sports inclusion program Pride in Sport responded to the news on Tuesday, highlighting that “Folau’s views about LGBTQ+ people do not reflect the standards and expectations that exist in Australia today.”

“His past statements about LGBTQ communities work in direct opposition to the significant progress on acceptance and inclusion that is being made by sporting codes, clubs and organisations across the country,” Pride in Sport co-founder Andrew Purchas said.

“If the St George Illawarra Dragons go down this path, there is an expectation that there will be a zero-tolerance policy on harassment and discrimination against LGBTQ people.

“Further, if Mr Folau’s appointment as a player eventuates, he must abide by NRL’s policies on diversity and inclusion, and we encourage the Dragons to have in place strategies that will ensure best practice deliverables around LGBTQ inclusion policy, education, visibility, and cultural safety.

“NRL is a code that prides itself as being a sport for everyone with strong values of diversity and inclusion.

“History has shown Mr Folau’s repeated failures to abide by sporting inclusion policies despite assurances.

“Sporting clubs must take a stand against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia when it happens and send a clear message to all Australians that discriminatory words and deeds will not be tolerated.”

Israel Folau is currently in contract with the Catalan Dragons, playing as part of Europe’s rugby Super League.

OIP Staff

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