Saracens have responded to social media posts by their England international, Billy Vunipola, in which he defended Israel Folau following his homophobic Instagram post.
Vunipola “liked” Folau’s initial post which was captioned, “those that are living in Sin will end up in Hell unless you repent. Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to turn away from your sin and come to him.”
It was accompanied by an image which said that “hell awaits” drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, and idolators. The image also states that “only Jesus saves”.
Folau was widely condemned for his post and Rugby Australia took immediate action, releasing a statement which explained that they intend to terminate his contract.
“As a code, we have made it clear to Israel formally and repeatedly that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action. “In the absence of compelling mitigating factors, it is our intention to terminate his contract.”
Earlier today, Vunipola took to social media stating that while he “hates” no individuals, “enough is enough”.
“This is my position on it. I don’t HATE anyone neither do I think I’m perfect. There just comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in that you just say enough is enough, what he’s saying isn’t that he doesn’t like or love those people.
“He’s saying how we live our lives needs to be closer to how God intended them to be. Man was made for woman to pro create that was the goal no?”
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So this morning I got 3 phone calls from people telling me to ‘unlike’ the @izzyfolau post. This is my position on it. I don’t HATE anyone neither do I think I’m perfect. There just comes a point when you insult what I grew up believing in that you just say enough is enough, what he’s saying isn’t that he doesn’t like or love those people. He’s saying how we live our lives needs to be closer to how God intended them to be. Man was made for woman to pro create that was the goal no? I’m not perfect I’m at least everything on that list at least at one point in my life. It hurts to know that. But that’s why I believe there’s a God. To guide and protect us and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Saracens have since released a statement saying that Vunipola’s actions are inconsistent with their players’ duties as role models. They also added that the matter will be dealt with internally.
“Saracens proudly embraces diversity and warmly welcomes everyone to the Club regardless of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation.”
“Our sport is open to all and we strive for it to be free from all forms of discrimination. We recognise that people have different belief systems and we expect everyone to be treated equally with respect and humility.
“As representatives and role models, Saracens players have a responsibility not only to themselves but to the Club and wider society. Billy Vunipola’s recent social media posts are inconsistent with this and we take this matter very seriously. It will be handled internally.”