Billy Vunipola formally warned by Saracens after defending Israel Folau over homophobic comments


Billy Vunipola formally warned by Saracens after defending Israel Folau over homophobic comments

Saracens have formally warned  Billy Vunipola about his future conduct after he made ‘a serious error of judgement’ by defending a homophobic Instagram post by Israel Folau.

The England forward posted a message on Instagram on Friday that includes the line ‘Man was made for woman to procreate that was the goal no?’.

Vunipola was acting in support of Australia full-back and fellow devout Christian Folau, who stated on social media that ‘hell awaits’ for ‘homosexuals’.

Billy Vunipola has been warned about his future conduct by Saracens

Saracens – who held ‘lengthy discussions’ on Sunday with the number eight – said in a statement: “At Saracens, we are one family, open to all with the firm view that everyone should be treated equally with respect and humility.

“We recognise the complexity of different belief systems and understand Billy’s intention was to express the word of God rather than cause offence.

“However, he made a serious error of judgement in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the club and contravenes his contractual obligations. The player has been formally warned about his future conduct.”

Vunipola insisted that his “intention was never to cause suffering” but stopped short of offering an apology in a statement on Saracens’ website.

Israel Folau’s comments drew widespread criticism