Tennis great Margaret Court has come to
Israel Folau's defense.
Folau's rugby career hangs in the
balance after he posted a series of homophobic posts on social media.
The 30-year-old Folau shared an image
on Instagram which read: “Warning Drunks, Homosexuals, Adulterers,
Liars, Fornicators, Thieves, Atheists, Idolaters: Hell Awaits You.
Repent! Only Jesus Saves.”
In the image's caption, the Wallabies
superstar wrote: “Jesus Christ loves you and is giving you time to
turn away from your sin and come to him.”
Roughly a year ago, Folau 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.”
“That's something that comes truly
from the bottom of my heart,” he later said.
Margaret Court, who became a Christian
minister after retiring from the tennis circuit, claimed that Folau
was being “persecuted” for quoting “straight out of the Bible.”
"I was on the highway to hell when
I was number one in the world in tennis and reached out to Christ,"
Court told The Australian. “I understand why Israel is doing
this: you want everybody to know Christ and under it all there is a
great love for your nation and you want people to know what you have
"That means drug addicts, gays,
alcoholics: they all come to my church and I love them and I'm sure
Israel loves them too. What he is saying about repenting is straight
out of the Bible. My heart goes out to him because he's being
persecuted,” she said.
Court, a vocal opponent of LGBT rights,
has previously said that same-sex
marriage will lead to the end of Christmas.
Court says she's “getting bullied by gays.”)