Disgraced Australian rugby star Israel Folau was welcomed to the Catalans Dragons with a barrage of gay porn in the team’s WhatsApp group.
He won a multi-million wrongful dismissal lawsuit over his shocking comments, which include claiming that “hell awaits” gay people, Australian bushfires were caused by same-sex marriage and the devil is to blame for trans children.
But if he was hoping for a fresh start with the Catalans Dragons, one of his teammates wasn’t about to let that happen.
According to rugby league coach Andrew Webster, the Australian player James Maloney just couldn’t resist poking fun at Folau and his anti-gay views.
“When [Folau] first joined Catalans, he joined the players’ WhatsApp group,” Webster told SEN1170 Radio. “And Jimmy Maloney, God love him, couldn’t help himself and started bombarding him with gay pornography.”
Given what we know of Folau’s homophobia, it’s safe to assume it wasn’t received well.
But Maloney was still able to find a good word to say about his teammate, in spite of his outdated views. “He’s played at the top level in our game and the top level in rugby, and you don’t do that by accident,” he said.
“He took a bit of time getting used to rugby league again, but he was good for us, he scored some outstanding tries and came up with some really big plays.”
Israel Folau didn’t stay long with the Catalans Dragons and is reportedly planning to get back in the Australian league as soon as possible.
But his triumphant return hit a stumbling block this week when it was revealed that talks for a two-year deal with the St George Illawarra Dragons had fallen through following an outcry from fans and sponsors.
“At what point did someone at the Dragons think it would be a good idea to invite this s**tstorm into their club?” asked the gay former rugby player Ian Roberts. “And that’s what it will be. You are welcoming this hurricane of offal.”