Catalans Dragons rugby star Israel Folau’s refusal to take a knee for the Black Lives Matter movement is down to religious reasons, not political ones, according to an insider.
The Australian, who was sacked from his Rugby Australia contract last year for quoting a biblical verse saying ‘hell awaits’ drunks, homosexuals, adulterers and other categories of sinners, has yet again been at the centre of controversy, this time for refusing to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
However, while some have criticised the player, others have defended his choice, with one insider at the club saying Folau, a devout Christian, will only kneel for God.
“He will only kneel for one being – his God,” the insider told 9News. “He obviously supports justice for black people, being of Islander background himself, but kneeling in protest goes against his beliefs.”
Folau was once more the talk of Headingley last weekend but this time for his prowess as a world-class player as he helped Catalans Dragons come from 14-0 down to earn a 40-14 victory over Castleford in the Betfred Super League.
The dual-code international showed his athleticism to score one individual try and create two more in a man-of-the-match performance as the French club bounced back in style from their 34-6 hammering by St Helens, scoring 40 unanswered points after they making an awful start.
Folau declined to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement for the second successive week, however, this time he was joined by two of his Catalans Dragons team-mates, Benjamin Jullien and Sam Moa.
After the game Catalans coach Steve McNamara said that the players were free to make a personal choice on the matter.
Picture: Catalans Dragons’ Israel Folau. (Richard Sellers/PA).