After having his GoFundMe fundraiser yanked, a new campaign has been launched to help disgraced rugby player Israel Folau raise $1 million to cover his legal expenses after getting fired for being a homophobe. And it’s making serious bank.
GoFundMe announced earlier this week that it was suspending Folau’s campaign to raise $3 million to cover his legal expenses after he his contract with the New South Wales Waratahs team was terminated when he wrote a series of antigay social media posts. The fundraising platform said Folau’s campaign breached its terms of service.
“While we welcome GoFundMe engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion,” said GoFundMe’s regional manager Nicola Britton said. “Today we will be closing Israel Folau’s campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors.”
That’s when the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), Christian extremist political lobbying group, stepped in.
The organization set up a fundraiser on its website to raise $1 million on Folau’s behalf, pledging the first $100,000 towards the fundraiser for his legal fees.
Supporters quickly followed suit, donating at a rate of a purported $1,000 per minute, and the $1 million fundraiser quicker made it’s goal and then some.
As of today, ACL has raked in over $1.5 million, in part thanks to the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney pledging his support to his “Christian brother” and encouraging “Christians” to do so as well.
“There is an outpouring of support for Israel Folau from the Australian community, who see Israel’s case as their case,” said ACL managing director, Martyn Iles. “They feel the pinch of political correctness, and the erosion of their basic freedoms.”
“Folau’s supporters will only be emboldened in their commitment by what has happened. They were concerned about their freedoms, and GoFundMe has yet again reminded them that their concerns are real.”
“Israel’s case is our case if we want to live free and embrace our beliefs without fear of being marginalized or discriminated against.”
Unlike Folau’s initial $3 million GoFundMe campaign, which made no promise that the money raised would go towards his legal expenses, ACL says it will deposit the new funds into a trust for Folau to use exclusively for legal expenses.
According to the Australian Business Review, Folau has a $5.6 million property portfolio that includes seven different properties in and around Sydney.
The 30-year-old lives with his wife in a five bedroom, 5-acre property just outside of Sydney and drives a $500,000 Lamborghini.