SYDNEY – A crowdfunding campaign by controversial Australian rugby star Israel Folau, who was sacked last month for homophobic comments, was shut down Monday over concerns about “discrimination” and “exclusion”.
Super Rugby's most prolific try-scorer, who is planning a legal battle with former employer Rugby Australia, had raised more than Aus$700,000 (US$486,000) of his Aus$3 million target from over 7,000 donors.
A search for Folau's GoFundMe webpage, set up on Friday, was met with: “We're sorry, but the campaign link you entered cannot be found.”
“Today we will be closing Israel Folau's campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors,” GoFundMe Australia regional manager Nicola Britton said in a statement. “After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service.
“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity,” she added. “While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.”