TODAY |

Gay Aussie netballer praises Maria Folau's support of her marriage - 'She's always been lovely'

Her husband may be in hot water for his messages towards the LGBTI community but Silver Ferns veteran Maria Folau has had nothing but praise heaped on her by a gay Australian netballer.

Ashliegh Brazill was one of Australia's first openly gay elite netballers and revealed to The Saturday Paper Maria Folau's support for her marriage to her partner three years ago.

Brazill said Folau personally contacted her in 2016 to pass on her congratulations when she married Brooke Grieves.

"I can only talk about the way Maria's been with me and she's always been lovely," Brazill said.

"When Brooke and I got married I got a message off her saying congratulations, and she liked all the [social media] posts."

Brazill spoke about the Silver Fern during a discussion around Israel Folau's most recent controversial social media comments in which he said hell awaits homosexuals, liars, drunks, fornicators and others.

Brazill used herself as an example for how Folau's words could impact people.

"I think about how I would have felt as a 17-year-old if my idol [Australia's most-capped netballer, Liz Ellis] had written that," Brazill said.

"It would have broken me.

"I think we are very fortunate to be able to use our public profiles to put out messages and it's disappointing when people use that in a negative way."

Folau is fighting to keep his rugby career alive with a code of conduct hearing scheduled for Saturday with Rugby Australia, who say they intend to terminate his contract over the posts.

Maria and Israel Folau Source: twitter/Maria Tutaia