Former Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle recently opened up about several death threats received following her “handling” of the homophobic statements made by Israel Folau right before his controversial sacking in 2019.
During a session performing as keynote speaker at Friday’s Women in Sport Aotearoa and trans-Tasman Business Circle’s “Change Inspires Change” virtual event, Castle spoke of having suffered through some exceptionally difficult times during the Folau incident, as well as after. Death threats received via social media channels were just some of what she had been made to ensure, said the former Australia rugby boss.
Said death threats were even in the thick of the debacle already reported on by a local Sydney-based newspaper. There were fears at the time that the person responsible for the Facebook threats would ultimately their and make their way into Rugby Australia’s headquarters.
Even though at the time no doubt a very scary ordeal to live though, Castle even now says she still stands firm by the values the organisation had in place back then. Folau’s homophobic social media messaging is, not unlike the light in which it was considered “back then”, representative of a breach of his employment contract, said Castle during the virtual address.
The situation surrounding the organisation and also Folau required of her and also of her “trusted advisors” a huge amount of resilience, revealed Castle, and the type of resilience required to work through and survive not only a challenging and difficult situation, but also a protracted one.
Death threats are serious business, concluded Castle, and not always the type of “business” one expects when initially stepping into a position of high-profile leadership.
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