Sacked Wallaby and Waratah Israel Folau is now asking supporters to pay for his legal case against Rugby Australia following the termination of his contract.
The former star fullback had his $5 million contracts torn up after a number of homophobic posts on social media posts which he refused to take down.
Israel Folau said he requires $3.15 million to pay for his legal fees to defend his sacking in the courts.
In a video posted to his website, the former rugby player said he has already spent more than $105,000 of his own money in fees, which are expected to rise well into the millions.
The fund has so far raised just more than $400,000 from over 5,000 donors in just half a day by 8pm on Friday.
In explaining the creation of the GoFundMe, Folau said he believes the termination of his contract is unlawful, which is why he started legal proceedings against Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW.
In his first interview since being sacked, Folau spoke to one of his outspoken supporters Alan Jones, on radio station 2GB.
During the interview, Folau and Jones repeatedly made the point the legal action is not about money, that it was being driven purely by the principles of his Christian faith.
“It’s been a tough few months for myself and my wife Maria and my family,” Folau said on 2GB.
“A lot of this stuff doesn’t make any sense, you know. It’s been a little bit inconsistent. It’s been tough.
“My principles and my faith is what’s been driving me from the get go.
“The goal for me is to stand up and to stand up for the word of god. That’s what’s most important to me.”
Folau suggested his most recent Instagram post, which ended up destroying his career, was still being respectful of all of those he mentioned in the post.
“When I share things from the bible it comes from a place of love and wanting people to understand that I’m not speaking to them personally,” Folau said.
“There’s are things that the bible might go against, things that people are doing, but from my perspective, I’m all about doing that from a place of love and believing in the bible that if people have an opportunity to hear that so that if they do choose to repent and turn away from that then they have an opportunity to be in heaven one day, which is what I long for people to do.”
Jones also asked Folau about comments from other members of the Wallabies who claimed his posts were distracting and disappointing.
Folau suggested the comments from team members only came because Rugby officials had told them to say those things.
“It’s quite a shock, whether or not that was really what they meant, I don’t take any of those things personal,” Folau told 2GB.
“To me, I have no harsh feelings towards them.
“When I first heard it was a bit of a shock, but I have no harsh words towards them.”
Watch and hear the interview with Alan Jones on 2GB below.
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