Unrepentant Folau refused chance to save career

Israel Folau's time in a Wallabies jersey is at risk after he was found guilty of high level misconduct

GETTY IMAGESIsrael Folau's time in a Wallabies jersey is at risk after he was found guilty of high level misconduct

Following the rugby union star's homophobic social media post last month, sportswear brand Asics have ended their partnership with Australian Israel Folau.

A three-person panel of John West QC, Kate Eastman SC, and John Boultbee AM found Folau had made a high-level breach of RA's professional players' code of conduct, in part because he showed no remorse and no guarantee he would stop.

'We believe sport is for everyone and we champion inclusivity and diversity.

"While Israel Folau is entitled to his personal views, some of those expressed in recent social media posts are not aligned with those of ASICS", it added in a Facebook statement.

Land Rover also recently distanced itself from the devout Christian when it withdrew a auto issued to him.

The 30-year-old was told that if he took down his divisive Instagram post, which also claimed that "drunks, idolators and adulterers" and others would join homosexuals in "hell", it would be viewed as remorseful, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Folau's Rugby Australia contract was terminated in April, but he requested a hearing in light of the disciplinary action.

The Folau camp can go to an independent appeals committee, as set out by RA, should the Code of Conduct panel now decide that termination is the punishment.

What is understood to have been factored in is if Folau escapes, and then makes another inflammatory post, he and RA will be forced to head down another costly code of conduct hearing in future.

CNN said former Australia rugby coach Alan Jones wrote an opinion column for the Australian calling the situation "a rugby crisis which has morphed into a social crisis which will open big wounds in relation to freedom of speech and freedom of religion".

"In many ways it was very, very sad", Jones said.

Folau's Wallabies teammate Quade Cooper - himself frozen out past year by Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn - was asked earlier on Tuesday if he could see any way back for the stood-down star.

Citing an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald last month, CNN indicated Folau refused to apologize for the post.

"I think there's a difference between free speech and sometimes that can go over the borderline into hate speech", Bishop Harvey said.

"Israel Folau, with my support and the support of millions of Australians, will take this fight every inch of the way", he said. "My head is held high".

In the now-deleted post, Tupou said that Rugby Australia "might as well sack me and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because we have the same Christian beliefs".

"What this is causing, vis-a-vis a divide amongst fans amongst just the game in general, the other sports must be laughing at us", he said.

Jones has previously railed against free speech being "completely corrupted" in Australia and he let rip again Tuesday.

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