A CHRISTIAN rugby star has apologised for offending fans by posting “I love Jesus” and quoting the bible on Instagram for Easter.
Samu Kerevi, who plays for the Australian national team and captains the Queensland Reds, caused controversy with the post as some questioned his views on homosexuality.
The 25-year-old posted a picture of himself playing with the caption: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“Thank You Jesus for dying on the cross for me. I love you Jesus.”
Kerevi’s Australian teammate Israel Folau landed himself in hot water earlier this month when he wrote that “hell awaits” gay people in a religious rant on Instagram.
Fijian-born Kerevi’s post on the social media site came just days after Folau’s Code of Conduct hearing and it led some fans to believe he was posting in support of the homophobic comments, a claim he denies.
‘ARE YOU WILLING TO ENDORSE THAT MESSAGE?’
One fan wrote: “I hope you don’t support Israel’s comments Samu.”
And another added: “I know a lot of gay kids and adults in our sport would love to hear a rugby leader like you say you love and respect them for who they are – are you willing to endorse that message?”
In an apology on Instagram the player wrote: “To be clear I’m not apologising for my faith in Jesus Christ my saviour.
“I felt things were taken out of context in regards to certain articles.”
He added: “I cannot pick and choose my own beliefs.
“Some truths in the bible (my belief) may not be nice to hear. But I can’t take the good and not hear the hard truths that God has given in his word.”
Rugby Australia will be holding a further hearing into the issue of Folau’s homophobic comments on Saturday.
The 30-year-old was given a “high-level” breach notice over the comments posted to Instagram on April 10.
He wrote on Instagram: “Warning. Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters. Hell awaits you. Repent! Only Jesus saves.”
Folau was sacked for his comments, terminating his £1.1million-a-year contract.
But the full-back, who has 73 caps for his country, says it’s up to God whether he keeps playing.
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It comes a year after he escaped disciplinary action for homophobic comments he made on social media.
Union bosses have now decided to act on the repeated offence.
Adding to the controversy, England’s Billy Vunipola has also been criticised for ‘liking’ Folau’s homophobic post.
He has since defended the Aussie, adding: “man was made for woman to procreate”.
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