AUS$1 million raised so far for Folau legal battle

A Christian group have donated more than AUS$1 million for former Wallabies star Israel Folau’s legal battle with Rugby Australia (RA).

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) took over Folau’s appeal for funds after his initial GoFundMe appeal was shut down by the company, who said the campaign violated its terms of service.

ACL revealed that by 17:00 Australian Eastern Standard Time it had raised AUS$1.044 million of its AUS$3 million target for Folau’s legal bills in his battle with Rugby Australia.

Folau has launched an unfair dismissal claim against RA for terminating his multi-million dollar contract over a series of controversial social media posts.

RA sacked the devout Christian last month for posting anti-gay comments on Instagram.

According to an AFP report, ACL’s managing director Martyn Iles said his organisation donated AUS $100 000 of its own funds towards Folau’s cause “because it’s right and it sets an important legal precedent”.

“Many Australians want to support Izzy Folau because they feel his case is their case and they can help make a difference and show him he is not alone,” Iles tweeted before the appeal went live.

Folau’s GoFundMe appeal had raised more than AUS$700 000 on Monday before the company shut it down, saying the platform would not “tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion”.

The 30-year-old took his case to Australia’s employment watchdog, the Fair Work Commission. His legal team and RA officials will meet in Sydney on Friday as part of the employment watchdog process.