Maria Folau cops brutal backlash after swipe at rugby league boss

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Maria Folau has faced backlash on social media after her attack on ARLC chairman Peter V'landys. Pic: Instagram
Maria Folau has faced backlash on social media after her attack on ARLC chairman Peter V'landys. Pic: Instagram

The wife of controversial footy star Israel Folau has come under fire after explosive comments she made in response to the Manly pride jersey controversy.

Former New Zealand netball star Maria Folau took to social media on Thursday to call out Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys' response to the drama surrounding the Manly club.

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V'landys said this week that Manly made a huge mistake in not consulting its playing group before pushing ahead with plans to play in specially designed playing strips featuring a rainbow design that's become synonymous with the LGBTQIA community.

The rugby league boss said he understood the decision from the seven players who boycotted Thursday night's 20-10 loss to the Roosters, and insisted that their cultural and religious beliefs needed to be respected.

“The game prides itself on treating everyone as a human being, no matter what their race, colour or sexual orientation,” he told 2GB. “We’re all human beings at the end of the day.

“Rugby league is the greatest game for all. It’s inclusive.

“But at the same time you have to respect people’s religious beliefs and cultural beliefs. Those players are taking a stand and they’ve got every right to – they’ve got freedoms to do so.”

Those remarks drew the ire of Maria Folau, who accused V'landys of "hypocrisy" after he and the NRL blocked Israel's return to the sport, following his sacking by Rugby Australia (RA) for posting anti-gay messages on social media.

Folau took RA to court and after a lengthy legal battle was eventually awarded a multi-million dollar payout for unfair dismissal.

The former Melbourne Storm star was reportedly rumoured to be considering a return to the NRL, only to see the door slammed shut on that idea by V'landys and other footy bosses.

Maria Folau was quick to remind V'landys of the messy saga, following his response to the Manly pride jersey drama.

“‘We’re all human beings at the end of the day’... Umm so what’s Izzy??....A donkey?" She posted on an Instagram story.

“The hyspocrisy (sic.) from this man and this organisation @nrl #PeterVlandys What a joke!!!!”

Pictured left, Maria Folau's. swipe at ARLC chairman Peter V'landys' over the Manly pride jersey saga.
Maria Folau has says ARLC chairman Peter V'landys' response to the pride jersey drama reeks of hypocrisy. Pic: Instagram/Getty

Maria Folau's attack sparks social media backlash

While Maria's decision to stand up for her husband is understandable, users on social media were at pains to point out that the Manly saga is significantly different to Israel's situation.

Religious similarities aside, users argued that Manly's players merely objected to being put in a situation they felt uncomfortable with - rather than actively propagating Christian ideals that homosexuals will go to hell, unless they repent.

Needless to say, Maria Folau's attack on V'landys sparked a stern rebuke on social media.

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