Israel Folau’s donors will be refunded after GoFundMe ruled the footballer had violated its terms of service with his campaign last week.
Folau asked the public to donate $3 million for his upcoming legal proceedings against Rugby Australia, where he will dispute his contract being terminated last month after he made a series of homophobic comments on social media.
There was pressure on the crowdfunding website to shutdown Folau’s page as soon as it launched, with one Change.org campaign attracting almost 100,000 supporters.
On Monday morning GoFundMe confirmed the page had been removed and all donations would be refunded.
“After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service,” GoFundMe Australia’s regional manager Nicola Britton said in a statement.
“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity.
“While we welcome GoFundMe engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”
Despite the controversial page attracting so much attention and funding over the weekend, Britton said she was pleased to see Australians donate over $1 million to other campaigns.
“Australians have shown themselves to be among the most kind and generous people in the world,” she said.
“We look forward to helping more Australians fundraise for causes they care about in the coming months and years.”
Full refunds will be issued to the more than 7,000 people who donated to Folau.
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