Homophobic posts cost Israel Folau another sponsorship deal

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Jones went on to reveal that he texted Israel Folau in the wake of his anti-homophobic social media post and that Folau responded telling him he was "at peace".

"Asics is dedicated to sports and its healthy contribution to society", Asics said in a statement, CNN noted.

ASICS, which is also a leading Wallabies sponsor, severed ties with Folau, saying "we believe sport is for everyone and we champion inclusively and diversity".

While there was nothing concrete about his social media activity in his newest multimillion-dollar deal, she and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said Folau had been told in no uncertain terms previous year he was not to post inflammatory material about gay people online, though Folau reportedly disputes that.

It added: "As such, our partnership with Israel has become untenable and he will no longer represent Asics as a brand ambassador".

Vehicle company Land Rover also ditched their sponsorship agreement with Folau.

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He faces his lucrative four-year Rugby Australia contract being terminated, with the three-person code of conduct panel taking written submissions from his legal team and the governing body before deciding on his punishment.

Folau's lawyers debated for nearly 22 hours over three days with the governing body's legal team, before an independent three-person panel came to their verdict.

Former Australia coach Alan Jones launched into an impassioned defense of Folau following news of the verdict, noting that the decision "prompts you to wonder what kind of society we're living in".

'We will take this fight every inch of the way.

Immediately following the initial backlash from Folau's comments last month, Australian Beer Company general manager, Tony Scanlan, said Folau's comments are totally unacceptable, but they will remain partners of Rugby Australia and the Wallabies.

He went on to speak of the shame he feels towards Australia rugby following the treatment of Folau.

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Folau also quoted the King James version of Galatians 5:19‭-‬21, from which his Instagram post was inspired - and features a much longer list of wrongdoings.

Global Rapid Rugby is offering Israel Folau a rugby career lifeline in their competition.

"What I stand for is we want a game that includes everyone" he said. "My head is held high". We've seen it many a time before - not just in rugby but in other codes - where some rules apply for some players and not others due to their impact on the game.

That message came after Jones said the "Orwellian treatment" of the rugby icon, combined with various recent attacks on politicians, painted a grim picture of the state of Australia.

In the now-deleted post, Tupou said that Rugby Australia "might as well sack me and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because we have the same Christian beliefs".

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