Israel Folau is crowdfunding to raise $3m to fight Rugby Australia

Israel Folau, who was sacked by Rugby Australia for criticizing gay people, has asked the public  for donations to help him legally contest his dismissal.

Folau is saying his employment was terminated because of his religious beliefs. He has set up a GoFundMe page, asking people to chip in for the legal costs. It has so far generated more than $418,407.

In a message on the website, Folau said. “My faith is the most important thing in my life. I try to live my life according to the Bible and I believe it is my duty to share the word of the Bible. Earlier this year, I uploaded some messages from the Bible on my Instagram page. I believe that sharing the Bible is an act of love and compassion.”

Folau acknowledged some people do not like or believe in the Bible.

“Indeed, what makes our country so wonderful is that we have such a diverse community made up of so many different cultures and values. But my faith defines me as a person. I do not believe that it is fair or right that I am punished for my religious beliefs.

Rugby Australia has already said that they will divert significant resources to fight me in court. Even if I win, Rugby Australia can appeal. My wife Maria and I have already spent over $100,000 of our own money, and that was just to try and deal with Rugby Australia’s internal tribunal processes. The money I am asking for is solely to fund the rest of my action in court.”