Rugby

"I'm sad for him because he's doing this out of stupidity" | Quinlan on Israel Folau


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As Rugby Australia confirmed that they have terminated the contract of Israel Folau this morning, Alan Quinlan shared his thoughts on the latest development in this story. 

Alan Quinlan was unsparing of Israel Folau's behaviour in the immediate aftermath of a social media post that has since cost the Australian his career in rugby union.

Decrying Folau's homophobic comments as no more than "bullshit," the Munster legend revisited the story on Friday's OTB AM in light of Rugby Australia's decision to terminate Folau's contract.

"I'm sad for him because I genuinely believe he's doing this out of absolute stupidity," Quinlan remarked.

Previously encountering Israel Folau in a one-to-one interview during Ireland's tour of Australia last summer, Quinlan has continually reiterated his belief that Folau is a seemingly decent individual.

As such, he is not quick to pronounce his own disdain for the individual; directing hostility toward the action itself.

"I'm not on some big crusade to say that I hate him," Quinlan explained, "but he can't see the bigger picture.

"What's been lost here by people who are backing him and saying it's freedom of speech, he was asked not to do this.

"So, if it's in your contract, and you agree to it, from an employment point of view you're looking for trouble [if you breach this].

Beyond Folau's professional obligations, Quinlan is disheartened by the prospect that Israel Folau's public comments will have ill-effects for members of the young rugby community.

"He's fine to have his opinion, but there are young people out there who are confused about their sexuality, taking their lives, and people forget that," a concerned Quinlan said.

"I see so many Australian commentators out there talking about this, but they're missing the point - this isn't about freedom of speech!

"Young people trying to find out and come to terms with their sexuality, he's putting them on the back-foot a bit.

"Everybody makes mistakes, I just wish he would've come out and clarified, and apologised for causing offence to people.

"It's a good day for rugby, but it's a sad day for rugby too."

On the line Rugby Australia and head coach Michael Cheika took in standing against Folau's comments despite his obvious importance to the team, Quinlan was quick to commend both.

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