Israel Folau's teammates have taken aim at the controversial rugby star but the Wallaby has received support from Australian tennis legend Margaret Court.
Folau will fight for his career after Rugby Australia issued him with a breach notice for posting homophobic content on social media and the nation — and indeed the world — has been split on whether he should be allowed to continue playing for the Wallabies and Waratahs.
Court, who previously sparked a backlash with comments arguing against gay marriage and claiming homosexuality and being transgender was the work of the "devil", backed Folau and said it's unfair he's being "persecuted" for standing up for his religious beliefs.
"I understand why Israel is doing this. You want everybody to know Christ and under it all there is a great love for your nation and you want people to know what you have received," Court told The Australian.
"What he is saying about repenting is straight out of the Bible. My heart goes out to him because he's being persecuted.
"He really just wants people to come to Christ. That's where I believe people haven't really read his heart."
Court's defence comes as former and current players who have shared the field with Folau slam the 30-year-old for his comments about gay people going to hell unless they repent for their "sins".
Retired Wallabies star Drew Mitchell pointed out Folau's hypocrisy, questioning whether he was a "liar" for saying one thing and doing another as he fights to save his $4 million contract.
Mitchell referenced a first-person piece Folau wrote for Players Voice last year in which he said if RA CEO Raelene Castle told him his views were doing too much damage to the governing body, sponsors and the rugby community, he would quit.
"After we'd all talked, I told Raelene if she felt the situation had become untenable — that I was hurting Rugby Australia, its sponsors and the Australian rugby community to such a degree that things couldn't be worked through — I would walk away from my contract, immediately," Folau wrote.
Folau has clearly received that message from Rugby Australia, who is trying to sack him, but he is refusing to walk away from his lucrative deal, leading Mitchell to point out the difference between his words and his actions.
Wallabies and Melbourne Rebels halfback Will Genia also blasted Folau for acting selfishly and, like Mitchell, questioned if he has said one thing to Rugby Australia but done another.
"If you've gone and said those things to Cheik (Wallabies coach Michael Cheika) and Raelene there's a breach of trust and I guess there's an element of selfishness about it as well," Genia told the Fox Rugby Podcast.
"You can have your beliefs but at the end of the day you're also contracted to Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs, who as your employers stand for certain things in society, who want to promote the game a certain way.
"So when you sign up to your contract to do that, you adhere to those rules, you adhere to what's been set out before you by those two organisations and I think the fact that he's gone and said that he wouldn't do such things and say any more about what he did last year, he's obviously broken a bit of trust with Raelene and Cheik."
Genia also said Folau's views have no place in the game.
"I firmly believe what he did was wrong and how he messaged it, put it out there was wrong," Genia said.
"You can't be out there spreading hate and telling people that they're going to go to hell.
"You can have your beliefs and have faith in what you want to have faith in but you can't go around trying to tell people they should be going to hell because they are a certain way."