All Black TJ Perenara issues anti-suicide plea after Folau's homophobia

  • 18/04/2018

All Blacks scrum-half TJ Perenara has leapt to the defence of those most vulnerable to homophobic attacks, after Wallabies player Israel Folau's high-profile anti-gay comments.

The husband of Silver Ferns star Maria Folau (nee Tutaia) said God's plan for gay people is Hell in a comment on Instagram a fortnight ago - a remark that's seen him cop plenty of criticism.

Chiefs player Brad Weber on Tuesday night weighed in on Folau's comment, saying it disgusts him - and he has now been joined by the Hurricanes' Perenara, who says it "cannot be tolerated".

"You don't need to look far to know that young Maori/PI are overrepresented in youth suicide statistics and, as I understand it, even more so when you look to those who are part of the Rainbow community," he wrote.

"To anyone, young Maori/Pasifika people especially, who may be struggling with their identity - please know that it is OK to be you.

"You are perfect as you are. Do not let these comments keep you from being yourself. Polynesia has been sexually diverse since forever."

Perenara says it should go "on record" that he is "100 percent against" the comments made by Folau.

"It was not ok to say that. It's not an attitude I want to see in the game I love. There is no justification for such harmful comments."

Perenara joins a chorus of people to criticise Folau for his remarks.

The Wallabies centre explained on Monday that while he believes "people's lives are not for me to judge", he felt he had the opportunity to save someone with what he wrote.