Disgraced rugby player Israel Folau has cried foul after joining France’s Catalans Dragons. The player–known for his homophobic beliefs–claims his teammates flooded his inbox with gay, adult content after he joined the team’s WhatsApp group.
In a new radio interview, Catalans Dragons coach Andrew Webster revealed that Folau’s teammates, led by fellow Aussie James Maloney, decided to prank Folau by offering him some man-on-man action.
“When [Folau] first joined Catalans, he joined the players’ WhatsApp group,” Webster said. “And Jimmy Maloney [Folau’s teammate], God love him, couldn’t help himself and started bombarding him with gay pornography.”
Maloney went on to praise Folau’s rugby abilities, noting that he “scored some outstanding tries and came up with some really big plays.”
Australian native Israel Folau landed himself in the news in 2018 after a series of homophobic and transphobic rants on social media. Though Folau had said in Instagram posts that gay people were damned to “Hell,” he denied any anti-gay bias. Public outcry prompted the Australian league to review and eventually terminate his contract in 2019. Folau sued for wrongful termination, eventually reaching a settlement with the league in December of that year. Folau’s contract with the Catalans Dragons expired at the end of 2020; the player reportedly is pursuing options to return to the Australian league.