Watch: 'Do it respectfully' - devoted Christian Sir Michael Jones feels for under-fire Israel Folau, but says faith is built on 'love and grace'

All Blacks legend Sir Michael Jones has chimed in about Israel Folau's controversial anti-gay remarks, saying he feels for the under-fire Wallabies star.

Folau has received major backlash after his anti-gay remarks on social media last month. Source: 1 NEWS

Folau has copped a major backlash after commenting online last month that all gay people will go to hell.

The 53-year-old Sir Michael was today elected as a member of New Zealand’s Rugby board.

He said Folau is a close friend and that social media can be a risky tool for high-profile athletes.

"I personally never do social media and I can see the danger in it," said Sir Michael.

"He (Israel) is a good man and he has got a good heart and got a strong faith.

"He's a friend and my heart goes out to him to through this time. At the same time I recognise that in terms of my faith it is a faith very much built on love and grace."

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Being a Christian himself, Sir Michael says he has family members who are also part of the LGBTI+ community.

Israel Folau with Blues players Eroni Clarke, Jerome Kaino and Michael Jones. Source: Instagram

"There are members of my family from those communities (LGBTI+) and we love, they are very integral in our lives," he said

"They are a big part of who we are and I'm sure that Israel has the same scenario too. We have big families, we've got such diverse families in that regard.

"Being able to express yourself is important but doing it respectfully and I suppose with wisdom.

"There needs to be a lot of love and a lot of grace particularly as Christians and people of faith in those spaces."

"People who engage with rugby in whatever manner deserve to be treated with respect and dignity," said NZRPA's CEO Rob Nichol. Source: 1 NEWS

The Breakfast presenter is calling "bull" on Folau's use of freedom of speech. Source: Breakfast

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

All Blacks players Brad Weber and TJ Perenara yesterday criticised Folau for his remarks.