Israel Folau’s crowdfunding campaign to help raise money for his legal battle against Rugby Australia (RA) has been shut down, with donors to be refunded.
Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe said Folau’s controversial page breached its terms of service in a statement on Monday following widespread backlash.
Former Wallabies star Folau asked for public donations in his bid to raise three million Australian dollars after his contract was terminated by RA last month, following a social media post in which he said homosexuals were destined for hell unless they repented their sins.
After receiving more than 700,000 Australian dollars in donations, Folau’s GoFundMe page was shut down due to a violation.
“Today we will be closing Israel Folau’s campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors. After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service,” GoFundMe’s Australia regional manager Nicola Britton said.
“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity. While we welcome GoFundMe’s engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.
“In the days since Mr Folau’s campaign launched, more than one million dollars have been donated to hundreds of other campaigns, large and small, across Australia. Those acts of kindness are the heart of GoFundMe.
“Our platform exists to help people help others. Australians have shown themselves to be among the most kind and generous people in the world. We look forward to helping more Australians fundraise for causes they care about in the coming months and years.”
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