Australian rugby star David Pocock has
weighed in on controversial comments made by teammate Israel Folau.
Folau, a 29-year-old devout Christian,
posted a meme on Instagram about God's plan. When a follower asked,
“What was God's plan for gay people?” Folau replied: “HELL..
Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”
Folau has defended his comment.
“That's something that comes truly from the bottom of my heart,”
Pocock, a strong supporter of LGBT
rights, in particular same-sex marriage, told the Sydney Morning
Herald that he believes such comments have the potential to hurt
“Having Australia’s best rugby
player using his platform like that has the potential to really harm
young people who are going through some pretty rough stuff trying to
come to terms with their sexuality,” the Wallabies
“They’re [trying to do] that in a
culture that clearly hasn’t become inclusive enough. The fact there
are still no footballers in Australia who are openly ‘out,' that
says plenty about current sports culture and our society.”
Pocock added that Folau's comments
won't affect team harmony.
“Absolutely [we can play together],”
he said. “I've got family who have those views and we've had it
out over the years. The bottom line is they're family. You talk
about it in a civil way … and when you do that you realize we've
got far more common ground than we have in difference of belief.”