Despite Rugby Australia's official hard line against racism and homophobia, many in the country believe Israel Folau is being victim of "political correctness" gone too far.

The outspoken Christian player has been copping heat since his Instagram post about how "hell awaits" gay people, urging them to "repent their sins".

According to Rugby Australia, Folau committed a "high level" breach of the players' code of conduct and intend to sack him, as it is not the first time the player's comments warrant him receiving a warning.

Not everyone agrees, however.

Advertisement

Outspoken former Wallabies coach Alan Jones, now a radio broadcaster, says the decision to sack Folau "completely corrupted" free speech in Australia.

He also praised the player for his "conviction and Christian commitment".

Israel Folau has been copping heat since his Instagram post about how
Israel Folau has been copping heat since his Instagram post about how "hell awaits" gay people, urging them to "repent their sins". Photo / Getty Images

"It's got nothing to do with Israel, or rugby, or religion, or homosexuals. Where are we in this country on free speech?" Jones said.

Rugby Australia maintains that it is nothing but an employment contract issue.

Sport Australia boss Kate Palmer agrees with Rugby Australia's stance.

"Everyone is entitled to their own views but expressing divisive and discriminatory beliefs is harmful to sport and the broader Australian community," she said.

Qantas, a key sponsor of Rugby Australia, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and several high-profile players have also distanced themselves from Folau.

Jones has accused Cheika and Australia captain Michael Hooper of "selling out their former teammate" and "singing the company tune to keep their gravy train rolling".

Advertisement

"How odd that Rugby Australia preaches 'diversity' and 'inclusiveness' when what they really mean is uniformity or exclusion," Jones wrote in a column for The Australian newspaper.

Folau has also received support from Australian Liberal MP Tim Wilson, who famously proposed to his husband in parliament while speaking on a same-sex marriage bill in 2017.

Wilson told ABC people need to be allowed to express their views.

"Rugby isn't just a game for people who are agnostic or atheist. In a free, pluralistic democracy, that should have space for everybody to express their opinion," he said.

"Quoting the Bible or reciting a well-established position around morality and private morality I don't think crosses that line."