A Facebook post by The NRL Roast criticising those who donated to Israel Folau’s legal battle has gone viral in just 24 hours.
The post highlighted donations given to the Rural Aid Buy a Bale campaign raised in one year matched the money raised for controversial Folau’s legal battle against the Rugby League Association.
“In 2 days, Israel Folau has received more in donations than Rural Aid's "Buy a Bale" campaign did in the 2017/2018 financial year,” the post began.
“Folau may or may not be in the right in regard to why he got sacked and has every right to launch legal action.
“That’s not my gripe.
“It's the fact that every day Aussies would rather donate their hard earned, already taxed money, to a multi-millionaire professional athlete who can use the funds however he wants...TAX FREE, while people who actually make a worthwhile contribution to society, and our communities, are left in the lurch.
“But you can’t teach stupid… You are just born that way.”
Folau has raised $2.2 million in just two days by 20,000 people.
Since then, the fundraiser, which is located on the Australian Christian Lobby’s website, has been paused – a little less than $1 million short of the sacked rugby star’s $3 million goal.
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The ACL said the donations, which opened on Tuesday, had been “overwhelming".
“ACL, Izzy and everyone involved is humbled and grateful. We are hitting the pause button. But if the case drags on and Israel needs more support, we will re-open this campaign,” a statement on the website said.
The original campaign on GoFundMe was shut down after it was determined they had violated the site’s terms of service.
“We are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity,” Nicola Britton, GoFundMe’s Australian regional director said.
Managing director of the ACL, Martin Iles, confirmed any money raised in the $3 million campaign will exclusively be used to meet Folau’s legal costs.
In a poll conducted by Over60 with over 5,200 votes, it was determined 60 per cent of Australians believe Folau deserved to be sacked from his contract with Rugby Australia.
However, 40 per cent voted Folau's controversial social post that claimed “hell awaits” gay people, among others, was not breaching his contract.
NRL Roast’s post, which now sits with over 3,000 comments, has continued to stir debate with some users claiming the page was only adding “fuel to the fire".
“If he can say whatever he believes then he should have the guts to face the consequences of his actions and use his own funds to fight his own battles,” one user wrote.
Another added: “I don't see why people find this surprising. There are A LOT of people in the world with the same views as Falou.”
“So you're complaining about people who are donating their OWN already taxed hard working money to Folau because they choose not to donate it to where YOU think they should donate THEIR money to?” an additional comment read.
However, other people said it was “sad” farmers did not have “priority“.
"If only those who so support a sportsperson's contract breach which has been turned into a fight for Christianity could support those who grow our food and keep food on our tables...” one comment said.
Another stated: “An absolute disgrace that people give money so easily to someone who broke his contract, not once but twice, but can’t find the money for the farmers who help put food on our tables every day, nothing like getting your priorities right.”
Folau’s $4 million contract was terminated by Rugby Australia last month after a post on his Instagram page claimed homosexuals, among others, would burn in hell.