Folau's controversial fund-raising page raises over $300,000

SYDNEY — Israel Folau's controversial funding appeal has raised nearly 470,000 Australian dollars ($323,000) to help the former Wallabies star pay his legal bills in his fight with Rugby Australia over his terminated contract.

After Folau made anti-gay social media comments in March, a hearing determined that Rugby Australia had the right to terminate his four-year contract which Australian media has said was worth about 1 million Australian dollars a year ($693,000).

Folau, who played for New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby, said he hopes to raise 3 million Australian dollars ($2 million) through the GoFundMe page for his legal costs in his bid for reinstatement.

Nearly 5,900 people had donated money by early Saturday.

"I believe the termination of my contract is unlawful, which is why I have started legal proceedings against Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW," Folau wrote on his funding page. "My wife Maria and I have already spent over $100,000 of our own money, and that was just to try and deal with Rugby Australia's internal tribunal processes. The money I am asking for is solely to fund the rest of my action in court."

But Folau has been criticized on social media, including by former Wallabies, with some saying he drives a luxury automobile and has a multi-million-dollar property portfolio.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle was also critical.

"From our perspective (GoFundMe) is a place where sick children get support, so it's certainly not a strategy we think is appropriate," Castle said.

____

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

People also read these

Israeli prime minister hopes to triple trade with...

Feb 23, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that he hoped to triple bilateral trade...

Study: Stopping global warming only way to save...

Mar 16, 2017

A study of Australia's Great Barrier Reef shows that reducing pollution and curbing overfishing...

Chinese premier wraps up Australia trip with...

Mar 25, 2017

China's premier has attended an Australian football game with the country's prime minister as he...

Nauru president: Australia's refugee policy...

Apr 6, 2017

Nauru's president said Australia's policy of sending asylum seekers to his nation was "working...

Australian senator breastfeeds baby on floor of...

May 10, 2017

An Australia senator has made history by breastfeeding her infant daughter on the floor of the...

Sign up now!

Three Sixty Press is your general news coverage keeping you up-to-date with the vast news in the world.

Contact us: sales[at]threesixtypress.com