Disgruntled former Wallabies star, Israel Folau has officially announced his plans to undertake legal action against his former employer Rugby Australia and the Waratahs, claiming he was unfairly terminated.
Folau’s contract with Rugby Australia was terminated in May following major breaches of his contract, including social media posts saying homosexuals will go to “hell” and that legal rights for transgender people highlight that people should “repent and turn away from evil.”
According to the ABC, Folau’s latest grievance against Rugby Australia, which will see him in court on August 13 in Melbourne follows a recent appeal to the Fair Work Commission, which was also unsuccessful.
Announcing his legal action via his website, Folau said that as “conciliation before the Fair Work Commission did not resolve … I am today commencing court proceedings against Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs.”
He added, “I have been blessed to have received the support of tens of thousands of Australians throughout my journey, and I want to say thank you to everyone who has offered their prayers and support.”
“It has meant so much to [my wife] Maria and me over the last few months and gives us strength for the road ahead.”
In June representatives from both parties met at the Fair Work Commission in Sydney for a mediation hearing, the first formal step in the dispute.
Following the meeting, a frustrated Folau faced the media showing signs of frustration.
“We are disappointed that we were unable to reach a settlement with Rugby Australia,” a member of Folau’s legal team said.
“It appears as though that unless things change, we’ll be heading to court.”
Folau said he was “very disappointed with the outcome.”
Rugby Australia officials, including Chief Raelene Castle, left the mediation through the underground car park, avoiding the media without making a statement.
A drawn-out court process seems to not worry Israel Folau given his financial backing is secure following more than $2 million being donated through the Australian Christian Lobby’s fundraising drive.