'They're a power couple' - Former Black Fern Louisa Wall urges Israel and Maria Folau to not use status to promote 'hate'

Former Black Fern Louisa Wall is pleading with sporting couple Israel and Maria Folau not to use their social status to promote "hate" against the LGBT community as she fears it could have significant consequences on young people.

Wall told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning there's a difference between freedom of speech and putting down people.

"If he was an ordinary member of society, it would be fine," she said.

"But when you're such a high-profile role model, and with his wife Maria - they're a power couple - and what they say does matter, what they say does influence.

MP Louisa Wall urged the Wallabies star to think about his comments. Source: 1 NEWS

"From my perspective, it's the damage of those comments, particularly to young LGBT people, that I'm worried about because people who are struggling with their identity, when you hear people depict you in such a way you fundamentally believe something is wrong with you."

The Wallabies star caused controversy last month when he said on Instagram gay people would go to "Hell, unless they repent of their sins and turn to God".

His Silver Ferns partner supported him and his comments as well, posting on Instagram during the Commonwealth Games, ""Stand with God no matter what ... Don't be afraid to stand up for the truth, even if that means you will be standing alone".

Wall says she understands the netballer's stance but still hopes they will think about their actions.

"I think she's standing by her man and I can understand that - she loves her husband," Wall said.

"My challenge to both of them is, as I've said, they're a power couple with massive influence and I want them to do good, especially for young people.

"I know we're getting into issues about Christianity and some teachings in the Bible but in today's world, when you are such a big influencer and people look up to you, I'm just questioning whether both of them want to support LGBT people for who they are or condemn them, as he did."

Louisa Wall is concerned about the influence the sporting couple could have with their stance on the LGBT community. Source: Breakfast