Infotainment Factory: Wallabies star stands by his faith amidst uproar

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Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Wallabies star stands by his faith amidst uproar


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Queensland Reds captain Samu Kerevi has backed his faith amidst the controversy ignited by Israel Folau.

Kerevi is eyeing the Reds' fifth win in seven matches on Friday night against the Sunwolves. But his comments earlier this week have fuelled the discussion over religion and rugby.

Kerevi told reporters he would not stop expressing his beliefs as it is what he believes helped him get this far in the sport.

"It's all been dealt with, I don't want to talk about it too much. Everything is all good from my end, no pressures at all," Kerevi said.

"People can come up to me personally and talk about my faith and beliefs and I'll stand by it, every day of the week.

"100 per cent [I'm comfortable expressing myself] I'll do it this weekend, I'll do it every weekend.

"That's who I am and footy is what I do."

Folau and Kerevi in Wallabies camp in 2016

"For me it's about giving back to the man that's put me in this situation and given me this platform and that's who I am.

"Footy is just what I do. I'm really grateful for the opportunity and the platform that it gives me but I'll just play footy and give back the glory to the man that's given me so much."

In the aftermath of Folau being stood down by Rugby Australia for offensive comments against transgender people and homosexuals, Kerevi became involved in the saga when he overtly thanked "the heavenly father" in a TV interview after Queensland defeated the Sharks in their Super Rugby clash.

"For me that's where my power, my grace and love comes from and it's about giving that honour back to God and if people took it the wrong way I didn't mean it," Kerevi said of the significance of playing and winning that game in Durban on Good Friday.

"If people took it the wrong way, I didn't mean to do it that way, it was just all out of love and gratitude."

That led to Kerevi feeling compelled to share a sarcastic apology on social media.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw3-VF4FA7h/

However some media took Kerevi's post as a genuine apology, prompting his Reds teammate Taniela 'Tongan Thor' Tupou to say RA "might as well sack [him] and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because [they] have the same Christian beliefs".

Kerevi said Tupou's comments were an "emotional" response.

"Nella (Tupou) is all good," Kerevi said.

"I think people have taken what he's said the wrong way.

"He's an emotional fella, he's just having my back and I love that about him.

"But I'd rather have him do his talking on the field.

Taniela Tupou of the Wallabies prays after a match

"I don't want anyone to be sacked to be honest.

"It doesn't matter what we're doing, there's a lot of support coming from different ends and different people with different walks in their life, I'm getting a lot of support.

"I just want to get back to footy."

Tongan Thor

It's a sign of how sensitive things are just days out from Folau's code of conduct hearing, as the Wallabies superstar faces the sack for a social media posting viewed as discriminatory after already being cautioned by Rugby Australia.

Kerevi was one of several athletes to "like" Folau's post claiming hell awaits "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators" unless they repent and turn to Jesus Christ.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwEWt2uHcLI/

- with AAP

Queensland Reds captain Samu Kerevi has backed his faith amidst the controversy ignited by Israel Folau.

Kerevi is eyeing the Reds' fifth win in seven matches on Friday night against the Sunwolves. But his comments earlier this week have fuelled the discussion over religion and rugby.

Kerevi told reporters he would not stop expressing his beliefs as it is what he believes helped him get this far in the sport.

"It's all been dealt with, I don't want to talk about it too much. Everything is all good from my end, no pressures at all," Kerevi said.

"People can come up to me personally and talk about my faith and beliefs and I'll stand by it, every day of the week.

"100 per cent [I'm comfortable expressing myself] I'll do it this weekend, I'll do it every weekend.

"That's who I am and footy is what I do."

Folau and Kerevi in Wallabies camp in 2016

"For me it's about giving back to the man that's put me in this situation and given me this platform and that's who I am.

"Footy is just what I do. I'm really grateful for the opportunity and the platform that it gives me but I'll just play footy and give back the glory to the man that's given me so much."

In the aftermath of Folau being stood down by Rugby Australia for offensive comments against transgender people and homosexuals, Kerevi became involved in the saga when he overtly thanked "the heavenly father" in a TV interview after Queensland defeated the Sharks in their Super Rugby clash.

"For me that's where my power, my grace and love comes from and it's about giving that honour back to God and if people took it the wrong way I didn't mean it," Kerevi said of the significance of playing and winning that game in Durban on Good Friday.

"If people took it the wrong way, I didn't mean to do it that way, it was just all out of love and gratitude."

That led to Kerevi feeling compelled to share a sarcastic apology on social media.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw3-VF4FA7h/

However some media took Kerevi's post as a genuine apology, prompting his Reds teammate Taniela 'Tongan Thor' Tupou to say RA "might as well sack [him] and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because [they] have the same Christian beliefs".

Kerevi said Tupou's comments were an "emotional" response.

"Nella (Tupou) is all good," Kerevi said.

"I think people have taken what he's said the wrong way.

"He's an emotional fella, he's just having my back and I love that about him.

"But I'd rather have him do his talking on the field.

Taniela Tupou of the Wallabies prays after a match

"I don't want anyone to be sacked to be honest.

"It doesn't matter what we're doing, there's a lot of support coming from different ends and different people with different walks in their life, I'm getting a lot of support.

"I just want to get back to footy."

Tongan Thor

It's a sign of how sensitive things are just days out from Folau's code of conduct hearing, as the Wallabies superstar faces the sack for a social media posting viewed as discriminatory after already being cautioned by Rugby Australia.

Kerevi was one of several athletes to "like" Folau's post claiming hell awaits "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators" unless they repent and turn to Jesus Christ.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwEWt2uHcLI/

- with AAP

http://bit.ly/2PDZ5ov
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