AFL stars Gary Ablett and Matthew Kennedy have found themselves embroiled in the Israel Folau furore after reportedly liking his controversial Instagram post.
According to the Herald Sun, Geelong champion Ablett and Carlton’s Kennedy were among the 37,000 users who “liked” Folau’s post, which said gay people will go to hell unless they repent.
Wallabies players Samu Kerevi and Allan Alaalatoa also hit ‘like’.
Ablett and Kennedy are both deeply religious, with Ablett removing his like on Sunday.
The former Suns player used to pray before games with some of his Gold Coast teammates.
In 2016, Kennedy said: “My faith is really important to me and it’s a big part of who I am.
“You definitely cop a bit of flack for it at times, but overall, it’s not too bad.”
Folau doubles down
An unrepentant Folau broke his silence on Sunday, saying his faith comes before rugby and he will walk away from the game if it is “God’s will”.
With Rugby Australia tipped to serve the star Wallabies fullback with a breach notice on Monday over his social media attacks on homosexuals, Folau says he’s more than happy to leave the sport for the sake of his faith.
“First and foremost, I live for God now. Whatever He wants me to do, I believe His plans for me are better than whatever I can think. If that’s not to continue on playing, so be it,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday, in his first interview since posting the Instagram comments.
“In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I’ll definitely miss it. But my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first.”
The NSW Waratahs have stood Folau down indefinitely while RA is likely to rip up his lucrative four-year deal for a breach of contract.
The 30-year-old denied reports that he would consider taking legal action if RA severed ties.
He said the widespread backlash over his comments had not caused him to question his views.
“Absolutely not,” he said.
“I’ll stand on what the Bible says. I share it with love. I can see the other side of the coin where people’s reactions are the total opposite to how I’m sharing it.”
Folau described the days since his posts as “tough” but said he wasn’t surprised and took comfort in what the bible says.
He also said he felt love towards all the people who had vented a negative reaction.