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Israel Folau breaks silence on verdict in message to Alan Jones: 'My head is held high'

Sporting News logo Sporting News 8/05/2019

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Axed Wallabies star Israel Folau has reached out to Alan Jones after the radio host launched an impassioned defence in retaliation to his code of conduct verdict, declaring his ''head is held high'' after his $4 million contract was ripped up.

Jones vehemently voiced his opinion on his morning radio show on 2GB and attacked Folau's detractors, suggesting Australia's core values and beliefs were diminishing.

“The Australia that our Anzacs fought for seems to be disappearing before our very eyes,” Jones said.

“It prompts you to wonder what kind of society we’re living in.

“Nothing wrong with Israel, it’s the society and those who prosecute him who are sick.

“But the cancer won’t kill us, it’s the cancer that will be removed, not Israel. The Australian people won’t accept this.

“This is not the Australia our veterans fought for and we’re going to have to take our country back by argument and by the democratic and peaceful process — not by hate and revenge or vilification and intimidation.”

Touched by the support, Folau sent Jones a note and urged him not to worry about his headspace and that he was in the right frame of mind.

“I’ve just had a note from Israel, he won’t mind if I’m sharing it with you because I said to him, ‘Hold your head up’,” Jones said.

“He said, ‘Alan, I’m at peace, mate.

“My head is held high’.”

a man wearing a suit and tie © Getty Images The radio host went on to declare the war is not over and he will continue to fight for Folau.

“Israel Folau, with my support and the support of millions of Australians, will take this fight every inch of the way,” Jones said.

“Rugby union preaches diversity — they really mean uniformity. They preach inclusion but they exclude Israel.

“We take oaths of office in every court of the land.

The Prime Minister is sworn in with his hand on the Bible — the same bible which Israel Folau has quoted and he’s now had his dignity, his integrity, his employment, his vocation and his income stolen from him.

“I coached Australian rugby, I was proud of it, I was proud of the boys and I was proud of everything we stood for.

Today, I’m ashamed of the people who’ve inherited our proud legacy.

“The battle has just begun, and it’s a battle for all Australians.

If we’re not free to articulate our religious beliefs and quote from the Bible, and if we’re not free to speak for fear that someone affects a hurt or is part of the offence industry, if that’s where we’ve reached in this country, we’ve reached a dark place and we are all at risk.”

Folau's code of conduct hearing finally concluded after three days of legal debating, with a three-person independent panel concluding the Australian star's inflammatory social media posts were a clear violation of his contract.

Pictures: Rugby's most controversial moments

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