Australian businessman, Clive Palmer has signed Israel Folau to the Gold Coast’s Southport Tigers through his company Minerology.
Palmer played for the club in the 1970s, and is a key sponsor.
In a press conference breaking the news, the many faceted, adventure driven billionaire said he’s been a supporter for over 50 years.
Palmer told journalists that the Bronco’s (Folau’s last team) has cleared the decision.
When asked if he agreed with Israel’s “views” around homosexuality, Palmer offered this sharp response,
“Look, I don’t know what his views are to be honest. All I know is he’s placed on the Twitter or something a quote from the Bible. And I know that the Bible’s used every day; quoted in Churches across Australia for millions of Australians.”
He then added,
“I know when we go to Parliament, many parliamentarians refer to texts of the Bible, and they pray every day. I know that when you go to court and you swore in for evidence you put the hand on the Bible. So, to me it’s nothing extraordinary that someone makes a quote from the Bible.”
Palmer then took the media to task for blowing Folau’s 2019 social media post out of proportion stating, “I’d just say from the media it’s grown out of all proportions. It certainly shouldn’t affect a person’s livelihood, how he can support his children, or what he can do.”
The Southport Tigers alumni made it clear that he wants the club to lead in being open to religious diversity, saying, he didn’t want to bring a persecution of people for their religious beliefs into sport.
Answering questions about the legality of signing Israel, Palmer said there is no legal prohibition on his participation in the sport, adding, ‘religious freedom in this country is a fundamental right.’
Asked whether Queensland Rugby League will be putting legal restrictions on him, Folau said he’d have to talk with Palmer, who was quick to address it, saying there is no legal prohibition on what Folau can and can’t say.
With this came the reminder that the Rugby Australia paid Israel for damages for doing exactly that, which Palmer said was an admittance by the RA of wrongdoing on their part.
His comments preceded a warning to Folau’s haters looking to cause new drama through litigation, ‘I’ve got some resources, and if it got down to a legal battle, I’m sure anyone opposing someone on the basis of religious persecution would go down very seriously, and they’d have to pay a lot of damages.’
Critics are already laughing off the “partnership,” in true compliance with the false narratives built up around both Australian celebrities by the largely leftist legacy media, who’ve painted Palmer as a mad, loose cannon, and conditioned people in the false belief that Folau as an anachronistic, homophobic “happy clapping gay basher.”
The Herald Sun, citing a February 2021 black flip from St George Illawarra Dragons on signing Israel, supported LGBTQAAI+ lobbyist and widespread legacy media accusations of “gay hate,” stating in its report that NRL has no jurisdiction over the QRL, and that the QRL will have to decide whether or not to let the “controversial anti-gay former Wallabies star” play.
ESPN didn’t follow the Herald’s lead. The sports magazine highlighted Folau’s talent, respectfully handled the controversy, and pointed out the Australia Christian Lobby’s ‘recent online petition, which garnered 12,000 signatures demanding Folau be allowed to play in the NRL.’
Super charging the Southport Tigers, Folau will be joining two of his brothers on the field in a first for the A-grade Queensland Rugby League team.
Folau said it’s a step in the right direction, and credited ‘his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ for the opportunity.
First published on Caldron Pool, 21st May 2021.
©Rod Lampard, 2021.