An independent panel has supported Rugby Australia (RA) in terminating Israel Folau’s employment in what has been determined a high-level breach of RA’s code of conduct, following his highly controversial social media posts. Mishcon de Reya Sports Lawyer Simon Leaf has featured on Sky News commenting on this issue.
“Given the controversial and insulting nature of the comments made and the intense public scrutiny that has followed, it is unsurprising that Rugby Australia has taken such decisive action in an attempt to swiftly draw a line under the incident.
"After all, the handsome rewards that top level athletes now command are ultimately paid for with money coming from fans and sponsors, who are likely to be turned off from supporting a sport if such views were seen to be tolerated.
"This is where so called ‘anti-embarrassment’ clauses in contracts between athletes and governing bodies comes in - allowing those agreements to be lawfully terminated where there are any signs of controversy. These clauses are very common, and mean that those who were once at the top of their game can quickly find themselves out of favour.”