Heroes Rugby Team Response To Israel Folau

A statement on behalf of the Heroes Rugby Team regarding the recent comments made by Israel Folau.

Israel Folau has been in the press recently due to comments he has made on his social media to his thousands of followers about “Gods plan for homosexuals”. He was asked a direct question and answered according to his beliefs and his faith. His comments were based on bible teaching about which he stated “I believe the Bible is the truth and sometimes the truth can be difficult to

  • It also says a rebellious child can be brought to the city gates and stoned to death.
  • It says homosexuality is an abomination and punishable by death.
  • It says men can be polygamous, slavery is acceptable and the sentence for planting different crops side by side is death.

For all we know this thinking reflected the best wisdom of its time, but it’s just plain wrong by any modern standard.

It is difficult to balance free speech, religion, inclusiveness and social media but surely we can all agree that one does not have to come at the cost of any other.

We acknowledge a man whose words make our blood boil, who’s standing centre stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which we would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of ours. We acknowledge everyone’s right to free speech, however we reserve the right to stand in vehement opposition to what has been said. It is commendable for someone in this day and age to stand up for what they believe in and to live their life as they choose, as this is exactly what the LGBTQ community has advocated for many years. We cannot, however, agree with or endorse the content of Israel Folau’s comments.

Heroes Rugby team is the only gay and inclusive team in Christchurch and will always stand in opposition to this type of ignorance and bigotry. It is not simply enough to brush off these types of remarks as the opinions of a fool. It must be challenged at every instance. We must stand and with one voice declare that no longer are we prepared to have this type of rhetoric go unchallenged.

Heroes Rugby Christchurch runs out onto the field every week to challenge such positions and we will continue to be the embodiment of “true” inclusiveness, tolerance and diversity in sport. Too many of us are indirectly and directly told in society that difference and uniqueness is shameful and that we are less than because of those differences.

Heroes Rugby team will continue to be a truly inclusive team with the aim of creating a safe and accepting environment for anyone, regardless of their orientation, gender identity, race, religion, age or abilities.