Folau disappears from social media

 

The social media channel that helped end Israel Folau's Australian rugby career has been taken down.

Followers of Folau on Instagram will be greeted with a "Sorry, this page isn't available" message if you search for his Instagram account.

His Twitter account also appears to have been taken offline.

His Facebook account has not been attended to since March but remains live.

Live stream All Blacks v Wallabies in The Bledisloe Cup on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14-day free trial and start streaming instantly >

The blank page on Instagram. Picture: Instagram
The blank page on Instagram. Picture: Instagram

The deletion of his social media accounts comes as he heads to court after bringing legal action against Rugby Australia and NSW Waratahs for unlawful sacking.

The parties failed to come to an agreement at a conciliation hearing at the Fair Work Commission with the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne scheduled to hear the claim.

Israel Folau’s Instagram has been taken down.
Israel Folau’s Instagram has been taken down.

Folau was sacked by Rugby Australia after posting on the Instagram account that gay people were destined for hell if they didn't repent. He refused to remove the post but it now appears nobody can see it with the whole account taken offline.

Folau, who is claiming up to $10 million in damages, argues he was unlawfully dismissed under a key part of the Fair Work Act that disallows sackings because of a person's religion.

Folau's new legal team of solicitors MacPherson Kelley and barrister Stuart Wood QC argue in the claim that there was "nothing unlawful about his conduct" and it "certainly did not justify Mr Folau losing his career and livelihood".

Describing Folau as an elite sportsman and record tryscorer, his legal team said he should be playing for the NSW Waratahs and the Wallabies, including in the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

"His form and natural talent suggests he would continue to be a star player for both teams," the unfair termination claim says.

Folau's lawyers say he maintained social media accounts "not for any purpose connected to his employment" as a rugby player, but primarily for the purpose of lawfully communicating religious content.

"He did this because of his ­religious faith, which goes to the very essence of his personhood," the Folau claim says.

The legal claim against Rugby Australia and the NSW Waratahs is based on section 772 of the Fair Work Act of 2009, which says an employer must not terminate a person's employment for reasons including: "race, colour, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer's responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin".



Fancy yourself a dairy farmer?

premium_icon Fancy yourself a dairy farmer?

Opportunity to take part in a Clarence Valley family business

Maclean farewells a man of the Clarence River

premium_icon Maclean farewells a man of the Clarence River

The Lower Clarence community lay to rest one of its river sons

Why Alan Jones' 'sock down the throat' comment is dangerous

premium_icon Why Alan Jones' 'sock down the throat' comment is dangerous

Shock jock out of line with 'shove a sock down her throat' comment