Another Australian sports star has stoked up anti-gay controversy in a homophobic rant online.
John Hopoate, 45, earned a reputation during his career as one of Australian rugby league’s more infamous players. Now he’s come to the defense of Israel Folau. The latter has been embroiled in controversy since a social media posting stating ‘homosexuals’ are destined to go to hell.
Folau now faces losing his AUS$4million contract with Rugby Australia over the posting.
Yesterday, former rugby player Hopoate took to Facebook and other social media to say he couldn’t understand what all the fuss is about.
‘Why’s everyone so worried about what Israel Folau said,’ he posted.
‘All these idiots carrying on like he’s murdered someone. If your a bloody HOMO who cares, I’ve been called racist names and all other crap all my life and if you can’t handle been told your going to hell we’ll toughen the F up cause no 1 cares if you do or if you don’t.
‘But 1 thing I can say is GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE.’
When a follower warned him he could be banned from Facebook for the posting, Hopoate appeared unbothered.
He responded: ‘lol been banned 3 times before for saying Homo lol’
John Hopoate bizarre ‘finger’ incidents
Born in Tonga, Hopoate and his family moved to Australia during his childhood. He took up rugby league and began his career with Manly-Warringah. However, his career suffered setbacks over multiple suspensions. These often followed violent tackles during games or arguments with officials.
In 2008, NSW Rugby League banned Hopoate for ten years over a fight with other players. Hopoate claimed the players had made racist remarks towards him
In the same year, he successfully won a major boxing title and became Australian Heavyweight Champion.
Hopoate is perhaps best known for several incidents where he pushed his finger into the anuses of rugby opponents.
He did this allegedly in an attempt to unsettle and upset his opposition.
An NRL judiciary case suspended him for 12 weeks as a result of the fingering and he ‘mutually agreed’ to leave the Balmain Tigers team he played for.
Wallabies star Folau, 30, made his comments about gay people going to hell in an Instagram posting on 10 April. The posting also stated a similar fate awaited ‘drunks, adulterers, liars, atheists, fornicators, thieves’ and others.
Rugby Australia subsequently issued him with a ‘high-level’ breach notice, threatening his $4million four-year contract.
Today Folau formally requested a code of conduct tribunal hearing. He wants to defend himself and keep his contract.
Rugby Australia says it would arrange a hearing through the Rugby Union Players’ Association.