Billy Vunipola has spoken out against the Black Lives Matter movement while not ruling out supporting Israel Folau again.
Speaking on 'The Good, The Bad and The Rugby' Podcast with James Haskell and Alex Payne, Vunipola spoke about how he would support views such as those expressed by Israel Folau on social media suggesting homosexuals would burn in hell.
Vunipola on Folau
Vunipola addressed his support for Folau's comments, in which he maintained gay people are living in sin.
"I could easily have been, 'Aw man, don't support this.' I didn't sleep for like two or three days after I saw his post because something inside me was saying 'do you actually believe in Jesus Christ or do you not?'
"It was a challenge I was battling with, not what Folau had said but from reading all the comments. It was something that challenged me to step up to a level I had never been before. In terms of 'Am I going to put myself in a position where people are going to dislike me or are going to agree with me?'
"Essentially, people are going to ridicule me, I didn't enjoy being ridiculed but at the same time what I did find comforting is that I stood up for my faith, I didn't just fall by the wayside."
Vunipola reflected on whether he would do the same thing again, should the situation allow.
"Would I do it again? I wouldn't go about it the same way. It would be more of a conversation from my point of view.
"I would talk to whoever had any questions. If it happened again now, they would say 'Billy do you support it, do you stand in support of it?' I would have to say yes, because I have made my position clear.
"I think a similar situation happened with the Black Lives Matter movement last week, where we were asked if we wanted to take a knee or not. From what I saw in terms of that movement was not aligned with what I believe in.
"They are burning churches and bibles, I can't support that, even though I am a person of colour, I'm still more a person of Jesus."
Vunipola spoke about Folau's comments about homosexuality and what salutary lessons lie within.
"I think the way Izzy came out with it was very abrupt and direct. Sometimes the Gospel is direct but, at the same time, we accept people for who they are and what they want to do with their own lives.
"It's not for me to judge, it's for God. It's a long story but in the middle of it all is to have forgiveness to go to heaven - or to not go to hell - is believing in Jesus Christ and that's what I wanted to get across."