Rugby Australia Apologises To Israel Folau, Settles Case With Confidential Terms

Rugby Australia Apologises To Israel Folau, Settles Case With Confidential Terms

Rugby Australia Apologises To Israel Folau, Settles Case With Confidential Terms

Folau was sacked following a post he made on Instagram which claimed that "hell awaits" those he described as "drunks, homosexuals and adulterers", among others, and he lodged legal proceedings against Rugby Australia.

He had been set to demand Aus$14 million (US$9.5 million) in compensation, claiming he was unlawfully dismissed under legislation that bans sacking someone due to their religion.

Rugby Australia and Israel Folau reached a settlement Wednesday that will end the former Wallaby's multi-million dollar lawsuit over his sacking for anti-gay comments.

In a statement released by Rugby Australia, the organisation "acknowledges and apologises" for "any hurt or harm caused" to their former player.

"Folau should apologise to the LGBTI community for the harm he caused, he should say sorry to rugby community for the disruption he caused the sport, and he should refund the money raised for his defence in court", Just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome said. While the former Wallabies fullback was seeking up to $14 million in damages from his former employers, his settlement remains confidential.

"Rugby Australia is confident in its legal position but we come here today with a genuine desire to find a settlement that is sensible and reasonable so that we can return all our focus and resources to growing the game of rugby across Australia", she said on Monday.

And both Folau and the sporting bodies extended apologies to one another.

Rugby Australia says the social media post reflected Folau's genuinely held religious beliefs, and Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person when he uploaded the social media post. Thank you to our supporters for their thoughts and prayers, in particular our families, our congregation as well as Martyn Iles and the Austrlian Christian Lobby.

"We started this journey on behalf of all people of faith, to protect their rights of freedom of speech and religion", he explained.

The statement added that "Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused".

Rugby Australia said it and Folau "wish each other well for the future".

Folau, a devout Christian who preaches at a western Sydney church led by his father, had indicated a willingness to return to rugby league but the code's officials had blocked such a move.

Folau caused controversy last month when he linked deadly bushfires in Australia and a devastating drought to the legislation of same-sex marriage and abortion.

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