High-profile Kiwis have banded together to lash rugby star Israel Folau after his controversial homophobic comments led to the fullback's rugby contract being terminated.
Folau has a history of making controversial, homophobic comments and his latest effort called on "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" to repent for their sins or else "hell awaits" them.
Folau has since gone to ground, but it hasn't stopped Kiwis such as Anika Moa, comedian Urzila Carlson and rugby players to hit out at the Australian multi-code star.
Taking to Instagram, Anika Moa slammed Folau for his comments, unleashing a brutal message for the 30-year-old.
Acting in her Dove Love character, Moa said God would be ashamed of Folau.
"Hi, guys, Dove Love here. OMG, we've just found the perfect replacement for our pastor who has just recently passed away. His name is Israel Folau.
"You may have heard of him, he's on this Instagram platform that you get your message across.
"He seriously posts the most greatest things. Our values are aligned. So what I did was I rang Israel Folau. I was like could you be our new leader. You know what he said?
"He said No!. I said oh God, please.
"So I got down on my knees and asked God why? He is the perfect leader, he has all the same values that we have. And do you know what God said?
"This is a humdinger. He said 'Dove Love, why would want to align yourself with such a f***ing t**ty c***."
Moa's message was also echoed by gay comedian Carlson.
The West Aucklander messaged Israel Folau to inform the rugby star God had talked to her and told her it's acceptable to love whoever you want.
"Hey @IzzyFolau God appeared to me last night and he said that everyone can love who they want and we should let people live their lives, then before he left he turned to me and said tell Izzy to shut down his Twitter acc because he says stupid s**t.#TheLordWorksInMysteriousWays
"I'd rather go straight to hell than share anything anywhere with the likes of you or old Izzy-mcBigot."
New Zealand-born Japanese rugby captain Michael Leitch took a different approach, calling Folau out but asking him to think about his actions and listen to those around him.
Leitch posted a video to social media, explaining many people are struggling from mental health issues and demonising them is a "stab in the heart".
"Israel Folau, I'm calling you out. I thought your first comment about gays going to hell was outrageous. This latest post is out the gate. It's so wrong on so many levels," Leitch said in a video on an Instagram clip headed "To @izzyfolau hope this reaches you".
"I respect your religion and what you believe in but using social media to almost preach your views ... it connects to so many people and everyone is not the same and there are so many people out there that are homosexual, atheists, people that drink for different reasons...
"There are people out there that are struggling with mental health so to go out and say that if you are homosexual or one of those types of people that you are going to hell, that's a real stab in the heart."
All Black TJ Perenara retweeted gay Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas' sentiments: "I don't write this with hate or anger after Israel Folau's comments. I write with sympathy. To everyone who reads it, don't be influenced by his words. Be the better person and be YOU. Whoever YOU is..Hell doesn't await YOU.Happiness awaits YOU."
'The message I try and push is that I don't hate you'
In contrast to Israel Folau, Muslim and All Black star Sonny Bill Williams has taken a different approach when talking about religion.
Williams has been preaching a different message this week in comparison to the divide Folau has caused earlier this week.
In an interview with Now To Love, Williams discussed his faith and how he strives to be inclusive rather than exclusive.
"The hardest thing for me is I live in a society where the majority are Christians or Catholics. Our Island brothers and sisters … we have a strong religious background.
"But the message I try and push is that I don't hate you because the message that you guys promote is one of beauty as well.
"I feel like that's where we need to come together in our community. That, OK, you're a Catholic, you're Christian, you might be an atheist, but if your message and your purpose is one of trying to be positive in the community, then I'm down with that," explained Williams.
Yesterday New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said vulnerable members of the community needed to be looked after and Folau's comments missed the mark.
"Obviously, at a personal level I clearly don't agree with what he said and very mindful of the fact he is for many a role model, he's a person in a position of influence and with that comes responsibility.
"I'm particularly mindful that young people are members of our rainbow community [and] there's a lot of vulnerability there," Ardern told reporters.
"I totally disagree agree with what he says and how he's using his platform," she said.
Following Folau's outburst, Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle confirmed that unless the organisation receive "compelling mitigating factors", they plan to sack Folau, having received no response from the Waratahs star after he posted anti-gay comments on social media last night.
Major Wallabies sponsor Qantas, who threatened to pull its sponsorship last year following a series of provocative posts from Folau, hit out over the post, calling it "really disappointing" and Rugby Australia confirmed they intend to terminate his contract.
"Rugby Australia and the New South Wales Rugby Union have made repeated attempts to contact Israel both directly and via his representatives since 6.30pm on Wednesday, and at this point he has failed to communicate directly with either organisation," the statement from Castle and New South Wales CEO Andrew Hore read.
"Whilst Israel is entitled to his religious beliefs, the way in which he has expressed these beliefs is inconsistent with the values of the sport. We want to make it clear that he does not speak for the game with his recent social media posts.
"Israel has failed to understand that the expectation of him as a Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs employee is that he cannot share material on social media that condemns, vilifies or discriminates against people on the basis of their sexuality.
"Rugby is a sport that continuously works to unite people. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome in our game and no vilification based on race, gender, religion or sexuality is acceptable and no language that isolates, divides or insults people based on any of those factors can be tolerated.
"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."