Outspoken former NRL and boxing star Anthony Mundine claims Wallabies fullback Israel Folau is the victim of racism.
Folau is awaiting sanctions from Rugby Australia, after being found guilty of a "high level" breach of his contract and could have his multi-million dollar contract torn up for his controversial social-media posts.
In an April Instagram post, the 30-year-old posted that Hell awaited "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators", unless they repented and turned to Jesus Christ.
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Mundine, a devout Muslim and anti-vaccination campaigner, told Australia's 7 News that Folau was being persecuted because of his skin colour, not his religious views.
"People are missing the point here," Mundine said. "It's not about the Bible or the biblical quote that Izzy put up - it's a black man expressing it.
"If it was about the biblical quote, then why don't they push to ban that.
"I commend Izzy for sticking up and facing such racism, and being persecuted and not having the right to make a living. There've been guys out there been done for drugs, assaults, yet he [Folau] can't express his mind?
"People are missing the whole point, it's about racism."
Mundine said he supported Folau for standing up for what he believes in.
"I know Izzy. He's a very polite, generous, humble brother, but he's sticking by his beliefs," he added.
"That's something I would say to everyone, which is stick by your beliefs."
Mundine also took a shot at the NRL, after it shut the door on Folau switching football codes again.
"For rugby league to turn their back on him, I think it's a joke. They are showing what side of the fence they sit on."
Mundine said he truly believed there would be many football players too scared to come out in support of Folau.