Perenara slams Folau's 'harmful comments' on homosexuality

New Zealand scrum-half TJ Perenara has slammed the "harmful comments" made by Israel Folau in regard to his views on homosexuality.

Australia and Waratahs full-back Folau suggested homosexuals should go to "hell" unless they "repent their sins and turn to God", but avoided sanction from Rugby Australia (RA).

Folau offered to walk away from his contract with RA if it was deemed his position was untenable, and broke his silence with a lengthy piece in the PlayersVoice on Monday, in which he stood by his controversial views.

Hurricanes star Perenara, who has 42 caps for the All Blacks, took aim at Folau's comments and said there was no place for such views in rugby.

In a series of tweets, he wrote: "I'd like to add my voice to the conversation currently taking place. As professional rugby players, whether we like it or not, we are role models for a lot of young people. Notably, young Maori and Pasifika people.

"You don't need to look far to know that young Maori/PI are overrepresented in youth suicide statistics and, as I understand it, even more so when you look to those who are part of the Rainbow community. Comments that cause further harm cannot be tolerated.

"Let it go on record that I am 100 per cent against the comments that were made by Israel. It was not ok to say that. It's not an attitude I want to see in the game I love. There is no justification for such harmful comments.

"To anyone, young Maori/Pasifika people especially, who may be struggling with their identity - please know that it is ok to be you. You are perfect as you are. Do not let these comments keep you from being yourself. Polynesia has been sexually diverse since forever."

Perenara's comments follow those of Brad Weber, who has one New Zealand cap and also took to Twitter to air his opposition.

"Sick of us players staying quiet on some of this stuff," he wrote.

"I can't stand that I have to play this game that I love with people, like Folau, who say what he's saying.

"My cousin and her partner, and my aunty and her partner are some of the most kind, caring and loving people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

"To think that I play against someone that says they'll go to hell for being gay disgusts me."

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