GoFundMe shuts down Israel Folau's controversial fundraising campaign

Headlines 24/06/2019

Banned rugby star Israel Folau's controversial GoFundMe campaign is officially over.

Folau had raised almost $NZ700,000 of public donations, after issuing a plea for financial support for his impending legal battle with Rugby Australia over his torn up contract relating to his anti-gay social media posts.

But the popular crowd-funding website has shut Folau's page down, stating that it violates their terms of service and that all donors will be fully refunded.

GoFundMe have released this statement:

"Today we will be closing Israel Folau's campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors. After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service," said Nicola Britton, GoFundMe's Australia Regional Manager.

"As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity. While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.

"In the days since Mr Folau's campaign launched, more than one million dollars have been donated to hundreds of other campaigns, large and small, across Australia. Those acts of kindness are the heart of GoFundMe.


"Our platform exists to help people help others. Australians have shown themselves to be among the most kind and generous people in the world. We look forward to helping more Australians fundraise for causes they care about in the coming months and years."

According to the terms and conditions on the website, users may not attempt to raise money "for the legal defence of … intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases".

More to come.