Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said he backs Rugby Australia’s tough action against Wallabies star Israel Folau for his social media posts about homosexuals.
The airline sponsors Rugby Australia, and Joyce told the Australian Financial Review he was “quite happy” with the action taken against Folau.
“We don’t sponsor something to get involved in controversy. That’s not part of the deal,” Joyce said.
“We expect our partners to take the appropriate action.”
Alan Joyce, who is gay, said Qantas chose to sponsor brands that it considered had the right management to run their organisations.
“It’s not an issue for Qantas, it’s an issue for every potential sponsor for Rugby Australia, ever,” he said.
“They have to manage it… and shame on you if it happens a second time.
“That’s the way we approach it in the aviation industry, and we expect these organisations to be the same.”
Qantas, Land Rover and Asics are Rugby Australia’s major sponsors, according to the Financial Review.
Asics dumped Folau as an ambassador earlier in the week, saying Folau views didn’t align with those of the sportswear company.
Folau refused to remove the post
On Tuesday, an independent panel found Folau committed a “high-level” breach of Rugby Australia’s professional players’ code of conduct, opening the door for the termination of Folau’s $4 million contract.
After three days of deliberations, the panel announced a judgement on Tuesday but did not recommend a decision on sanctions against the star.
The Daily Telegraph reported Folau was advised that if he removed the social post it would it would lessen the severity of his code of conduct breach to low to mid-level, preventing the tearing up of his contract.
But Folau reportedly refused, reiterating that he did not share the post with malice but with love.
Folau responded to the saga on Wednesday, with broadcaster Alan Jones telling listeners the footballer had said to him, “Alan, I’m at peace, mate. My head is held high.”
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