Outspoken Aussie sports star Anthony Mundine has joined the debate around Israel Folau from a completely different angle, saying the Wallaby's possible exile isn't about his posts or religion but racism.
Folau was found guilty earlier this week of a "high level" breach of his contract with Rugby Australia after posting on Instagram in April that hell awaits "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators", unless they repented and turned to Jesus Christ.
Mundine, a devout Muslim, told Australia's 7 NEWS that Folau's punishments weren't because of his words but his skin colour.
"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 went on to slam the NRL for saying they wouldn't welcome Folau back to rugby league if his rugby union career ended.
"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."
The best punishment Folau can hope for is a suspension or fine by Rugby Australia but the other end of the spectrum would see his contract terminated.
Folau could delay any punishment though with an appeal in the next two days which could see an entirely new panel selected for another hearing.