An openly gay Australian netballer has revealed the support Silver Ferns shooter Maria Folau gave her when she married her then partner in 2016.
Addressing the impact of Maria's husband Israel Folau's recent homophobic social media posts, former Swifts and West Coast Fever centre Ashleigh Brazill only had positive words to say of the Silver Ferns legend.
"I can only talk about the way Maria's been with me and she's always been lovely," Brazill told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"When Brooke and I got married I got a message off her saying congratulations, and she liked all the [social media] posts."
Earlier this month, Israel made a now-infamous Instagram post calling on "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" to "repent" or risk eternity in hell.
Maria, who married Israel in 2017, frequently liked and commented messages of support to her husband's posts last year but has remained relatively quiet on social media since relocating across the ditch to play for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in this year's Super Netball season.
Brazill touched on the harmful effects she believed Israel's comments could cause and said it was disappointing some people used their platform in a negative way.
"I think about how I would have felt as a 17-year-old if my idol [Australia's most-capped netballer, Liz Ellis] had written that," Brazill said.
"It would have broken me.
"I think we are very fortunate to be able to use our public profiles to put out messages and it's disappointing when people use that in a negative way."
Israel will face a code of conduct hearing on Saturday where Rugby Australia is set to try to terminate his multi-million dollar four-year contract.
Despite having his career on the line, the rugby star said he would stick to his guns no matter what it costs.
"It's obviously a decision that's in the process right now but I believe in a God that's in control of all things," Folau told the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this month.
"Whatever His will is, whether that's to continue playing or not, I'm more than happy to do what He wants me to do.
"In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I'll definitely miss it. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first."