It appears there was a time when Australia’s sporting pariah, the controversial Israel Folau, had a little more decency in his heart.
The Wallaby, of course, has been roundly condemned for posting vile comments on social media this week that, among other things, said “hell awaits homosexuals”.
Ironically, way back in 2014, Folau posed on the cover of the prominent gay magazine Star Observer denouncing homophobia in sport.
The rugby star appeared alongside fellow Wallaby, Adam Ashley-Cooper, alongside the cover line, “Big Boys And Their Balls.”
In the cover and interview, Folau and Ashley-Cooper were promoting a gay rugby event in Australia called the Bingham Cup.
A spokesperson for the tournament at the time said: “Israel is a strong advocate for ending all forms of discrimination in sport.”
Sadly, Folau has since used social media to voice his aggressive opposition to many things, including homosexuals.
He first courted controversy when he tweeted his opposition to the same-sex marriage debate, leading to calls for Qantas to boycott its sponsorship of the Australian Rugby Union team. It didn’t.
Last year, he tweeted a screenshot of a story about Tasmania’s just-passed legal reforms for trans and gender diverse people alongside the words, “The devil has blinded so many people in this world, REPENT and turn away from your evil ways. Turn to Jesus Christ who will set you free.”
Again, in April last year, he posted a comment on an Instagram post saying that “hell” is God’s plan for gay people.