Wallabies star Samu Kerevi has dropped a bombshell claim as a documentary on the Israel Folau saga is set to lift the lid on the scandal
Wallabies star Samu Kerevi has claimed he and other Christian players were silenced from speaking out in favour of Israel Folau during the scandal that ended his Australian rugby career.
The devout Christian dual-international played 73 Test matches for the Wallabies but was sensationally sacked by Rugby Australia in 2019 for saying that “hell awaits” gay people and others he considers sinners in a post on social media, amid a series of incendiary posts.
It saw his contract torn up and a long-drawn out saga which ended in a court settlement months later and the end of Folau’s time as a Wallaby.
Folau had support from the Australian Christian Lobbyat the time, but there was plenty of sentiment against the footballer.
Ahead of 'Folau' - a two-part documentary to be shown on the ABC about the scandal, Kerevi has revealed Christian players who agreed with Folau were barred from publicly voicing their support for their under-siege teammate.
Rugby Australia has long denied silencing players.
Kerevi was also one of the players who “liked” the “hell awaits” post.
“We got told from our media teams not to say anything about supporting Izzy or saying anything at all,” he said.
“But after those coming days it was everyone that didn’t support him was all over the news. They were to be interviewed. They were allowed to say that they don’t support the message.” Kerevi said he understands both sides as he has gay family members, but blasted the double standards of the saga.
“If someone does domestic violence and he’s OK to play, but someone that’s posted something that was in the Bible, no, let’s not play on,” he said.
And years before the Manly Pride jersey saw seven Polynesian players stand down, Kerevi said Rugby Australia created a similar rift.
In a sign of support for the same-sex marriage plebiscite, Rugby Australia made a rainbow version of the Wallabies logo, which got some players’ noses out of joint. “No one came up to us and asked us if we support it,” Kerevi said.
“You know, no one asked us our opinion on it. They just said, you know, Rugby Australia supports gay marriage.”