Disgruntled former Wallabies star, Israel Folau commented on the shutdown of his GoFundMe page, saying he was “disappointed” by the decision, but he would certainly not be disappointed now after his second tilt at raising funds for his legal defence has hit $1million.
Folau’s GoFundMe page was set up last week to raise money for his legal battle against Rugby Australia, who terminated his $4 million dollar contract for his refusal to remove and apologise for the anti-LGBTI posts he made on social media.
However, after widespread condemnation and a public campaign against his page, GoFundMe confirmed that the page had been officially shut down.
Following that decision, the Australia Christian Lobby took up the fight for Folau by donating $100,000 and offered to host the fundraising drive on their website.
At 5 pm on Tuesday night, the donations had ticked over the $1 million mark.
ACL managing director, Martyn Iles, said, “There is an outpouring of support for Israel Folau from the Australian community, who see Israel’s case as their case. They feel the pinch of political correctness, and the erosion of their basic freedoms.”
“The success of the Folau fundraiser was giving ‘quiet Australians’ a voice.”
“By launching an alternative fundraising site to GoFundMe today, we are ensuring that the voice of quiet Australians continues to be heard, and Israel Folau continues to know that he is not alone.”
Legal experts have expressed their bewilderment at why Folau wanted $3 million from his GoFundMe page when his fees won’t come close to that figure.
Following the initial shutdown, Folau’s camp came out and rejected GoFundMe’s decision, claiming the campaign which was raising money alongside children with cancer, had not breached any terms of service.
“The decision of GoFundMe to cancel Israel’s fundraising campaign to support his Legal Action Fund is very disappointing,” Folau’s spokesperson claimed.
“The fundraising campaign was in line with GoFundMe’s Terms and Conditions as well as all relevant rules and regulations. Unfortunately, GoFundMe has buckled to demands against the freedom of Australians to donate to his cause.”
Ironically Folau’s spokesperson added that Folau has been a victim of discrimination saying that “there appears to be a continuing campaign of discrimination against Israel and his supporters.”
“Israel Folau is very grateful to the 10,000-plus supporters who believed in good faith that their donations would contribute to his case against Rugby Australia.”