I truly believe the likes of Richie McCaw and Brendon McCullum have made egregious sins in their sporting careers.

They have misled the public time and time again with deceiving statements which has hoodwinked New Zealand's sporting fan base and continues to cause irreparable damage to the next generation of our sporting stars.

What are their transgressions you ask? What could this pair of upstanding sporting citizens and legends of their respective games ever done to receive such a lashing?

They made us believe that we could and should hold sportspeople in high regard, consider them the best of us, the special ones God himself decided to bestow with an extra sprinkle of talent.


Obviously, my criticism is coming from a place of cynicism, in my heart of hearts I know this pair of fine gentlemen have not intentionally fooled the public, but it's a cycle we go through time and time again whenever we have a sports star in hot water.

This time, not for the first time, the spotlight has fixed itself on the God-fearing, old testament-loving Australian rugby player Israel Folau whose recent social media use could be the final straw in terms of his career with the Wallabies.

I won't go into details but it is more of the same from the deadly centre/fullback who holds firm, traditional Christian beliefs. Apparently, everyone is off to hell if you've done one of several things nearly every human has done e.g. lie, drink or fornicate.

If I'm honest, I don't really know how much fun heaven would be if these actions automatically take you off the guest list, but as an atheist (yet another of Folau's no-nos) there's not much point discussing the matter any further.

As much scandal as there is around this kind of message, relating to freedom of speech and the attacks in Christchurch, this is simply another case where sportspeople have let their thousands of admirers down and broken the spell most of us go under when the referee blows into their whistle.

Folau is a classic example, simply because of his skill on the park. Probably one of the greatest players to pull on the golden jersey, his fans would range from the young to the old.

And it's because of people like McCaw and McCullum who make us think we have a right to expect upstanding behaviour from our sporting heroes when, really, they are just like us - they make mistakes, do dumb things and, in this case, make regressive and damaging comments directed at the majority of the human race.

I do hope Australian's rugby officials kick Folau to the kerb, especially after the chance he was given over a similar incident last year. With the number of scandals which have rocked Australian sport in the last 12 to 18 months, this is an opportunity to draw a line and act on inexcusable behaviour.

I don't buy for one second that Folau didn't know what he was doing. As of Friday evening, we are being told he has gone to Rugby Australia to repair what should be an unrepairable situation. But especially after the events of last year, surely he knew the consequences that would await him if he posted something of this nature again.

Maybe he's had one too many hard tackles and his judgment has gone out the window. Maybe he wants out of his contract to go and earn money elsewhere. The latter seems unlikely in a World Cup year but, if so, it doesn't say much for the state of Australian rugby if the star player can't be bothered attending the most important event in the rugby calendar.

If Rugby Australia caves to the pressure of keeping their star player, I do look forward to hearing the "compelling mitigating factors" which have stayed the executioner's hand on this occasion.

But one thing's for sure, if he doesn't go, you can guarantee this won't be the last scandal in this saga.