Folau fights back with multimillion-dollar lawsuit

The go-to excuse for those defending Rugby Australia’s indefensible persecution of Israel Folau is “but he broke the rules of his contract!” This is a weak excuse, not least for the fact that it is arguable that he did so at all. Moreover, a contract cannot be in breach of the law. Indeed, no contract can be used to override human rights – otherwise, people could perfectly legally sign a contract of life-long slavery.

Consequently, Folau is fighting back.

Dumped Wallabies star Israel Folau is seeking up to $10 million in damages from Rugby Australia in a lawsuit that will claim his contract termination was “unlawful” and cost him the “best years” of his sporting career.

In an 11th-hour bid to challenge the terms of his May 17 dismissal, lawyers for Folau lodged a claim with the Fair Work Commission yesterday, arguing the sacking breached Section 772 of the Fair Work Act, a clause that deems it unlawful to terminate employment on the grounds of ­religion.

The statement of claim, seen by The Australian, says Folau is seeking $5m in lost earnings plus substantial damages and civil penalties.

But a source close to Folau said the amount could rise to as much as $10m when sponsorship deals and potential earnings associated with the Rugby World Cup were considered.]

If it’s not coincidental, then it’s at least ironic that that’s about the figure in allegedly threatened sponsorships that RA cited as reason for sacking Folau.

But, while the best way to hurt these corporate bullies is via their pockets, Folau insists that it’s about more than money.

In a statement released yesterday, the devout Christian said he felt he had no choice but to stand up for the beliefs and rights of all Australians.

“The messages of support we have received over these difficult few weeks have made me realise there are many Australians who feel their fundamental rights are being steadily eroded,” Folau said.

“No Australian of any faith should be fired for practising their religion.”

RA are already lining up their excuses.

RA said: “It is important to make clear that Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby did not choose to be in a position where they are forced to divert significant resources to ­defend the ongoing legal action taken by Israel, but his action leaves the game with no choice.

“As a sport that is proud of the values of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork … we will defend those values.’’


Except when it comes to including and respecting Christians, apparently.