God has spoken.
Israel Folau is now nominated for The Frownlow Medal following a controversial homophobic statement on social media. Folau said that God’s plan for homosexual people is Hell unless they repent of their sins.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.
The star Rugby Union player’s comments were met with a torrent of responses from incensed social media users.
The original post was later removed, following the backlash, but it is unclear whether that was before or after Folau attended confession.
In a case of irony that seems to be the exclusive realm of modern professional sportspeople, Foloau was the face of the Bingham Cup, an amateur gay Rugby Union tournament, only four years ago.
The Waratahs and Wallabies star now becomes the second code-hopping footballer to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal in 2018, after Karmichael Hunt was charged with drug dealing for the second time in his career.
Folau will discover later this year if he has won The Frownlow Medal, unless he receives a message from upstairs in the meantime.
First published in April, 2018.