Israel Folau has begun legal action against his former employers Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs following his dismissal over homophobic social media posts.
The former Wallabies star’s contract was terminated in May after he was found guilty of a high-level Code of Conduct breach relating to an Instagram post in which he said “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters” would go to hell unless they repented.
Folau’s decision to take legal action comes after the 30-year-old failed to reach an agreement with Rugby Australia at a mediation hearing at the Fair Work Commission on June 28th.
He is reportedly seeking $10 million in damages as well as the reinstatement of his contract from Rugby Australia arguing that he was unfairly dismissed on religious ground.
Folau had set up a GoFundMe page which raised money for his legal battle however the page was shut down.
The 30-year old then set up a second fund-raising page – through the Australian Christian Lobby – which was stopped after receiving donations totalling more than two million Australian dollars.
“Our conciliation before the Fair Work Commission did not resolve the matters between us,” Folau said in a statement.
“Accordingly, I am today commencing court proceedings against Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs.
“I have been blessed to have received the support of tens of thousands of Australians throughout my journey, and I want to say thank you to everyone who has offered their prayers and support.
“It has meant so much to [my wife] Maria and me over the last few months and gives us strength for the road ahead.”