"I have been left with no choice": Israel Folau commences legal action
Israel Folau has begun to take legal action against his former employers Rugby Australia (RA) and the NSW Waratahs for unfair dismissal.
The decision shortly followed after the former Wallaby player and RA failed to come to an agreement at a mediation hearing at the Fair Work Commission on June 28.
"Unfortunately, our conciliation before the Fair Work Commission did not resolve the matters between us and I have been left with no choice but to commence court action," Folau said in a statement on Thursday.
Folau’s multi-million dollar contract was terminated after he shared a social media post that said homosexuals and adulterers, among others, would go to hell.
RA said the post breached its professional player's code of conduct – a decision backed right up to an independent tribunal.
I confirm I have commenced court proceedings against Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs. Thank you to those who have supported me over this journey – it has meant so much to Maria and me. God bless. pic.twitter.com/Ojgw9uRw79
— Israel Folau (@IzzyFolau) July 31, 2019
Folau says he was unfairly dismissed on religious grounds and is arguing for $10 million in damages, as well as his contract to be reinstated.
More than 20,000 people have donated $2.2 million to help fund Folau’s legal battle through a campaign page set up by the Australian Christian Lobby.
In a statement thanking his supporters, the former rugby player wrote: “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 (wife) Maria and me over the last few months and gives us strength for the road ahead,” he said.