Israel Folau and Rugby Australia have settled their dispute over the sacking of the former Wallaby due to his controversial social media posts.
The two sides announced a confidential settlement had been reached on Wednesday afternoon, after mediation ordered by the Federal Circuit Court.
Folau had asked for $14 million in compensation for the sacking, while Rugby Australia said it was within its rights to sack him over a controversial Instagram post in April condemning “drunks” and “homosexuals”, and warning “hell awaits” them.
“Rugby Australia, NSW Rugby and Israel Folau have today settled their legal dispute following the dismissal of Israel Folau after he posted a religious message on social media,” they said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
“The social media post reflected Mr Folau’s genuinely held religious beliefs, and Mr Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person when he uploaded the social media post.
“Mr Folau wants all Australians to know that he does not condone discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of their sexuality and that he shares Rugby Australia’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.”
Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby said they “do not in any way” agree with the content of Folau’s post, which included an image of people he said would go to hell, including atheists, liars and fornicators.
“Inclusiveness is one of Rugby’s core values and it welcomes all people to the game, including all members of the LGBTI community,” the joint statement said.
“While it was not Rugby Australia’s intention, Rugby Australia acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus.
“Similarly, Mr Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused.”
The two parties wished each other well for the future.