Israel Folau, one of the most famous Australian rugby players as well as one of the country’s biggest Christian homophobes, just had his GoFundMe page shut down for violating the company’s terms of service.
Why would a rich athlete need a GoFundMe page? That’s what a lot of critics wanted to know. Folau said he wanted $3 million to pay off future legal bills as he sued Rugby Australia for ending his contract after he said gay people would burn in Hell. He had already received a warning from the private organization that anti-LGBTQ remarks would not be tolerated.
Folau had already raised $750,000 through the campaign, but all of that money will be refunded.
“Today we will be closing Israel Folau’s campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors. After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service,” GoFundMe Australia regional manager Nicola Britton said.
“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity. While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.
GoFundMe doesn’t allow fundraising for legal defenses connected with intolerance relating to sexual orientation.
It’s the right move by GoFundMe. If Folau wants to fight for Christian bigotry, against a private organization that had every right to cut him loose, he’s welcome to throw his own cash at the endeavor. The beauty of what’s happening is that a popular athlete who could have made many millions through endorsement deals is throwing his reputation into a dumpster fire of his own creation.
On a brighter note, a campaign to raise money for a pro-LGBTQ athletic charity, in response to Folau’s hate, is still going strong.
(Thanks to @LeoDotWalsh0x05 for the link)