David Pocock says he is “sad” to see Israel Folau’s rugby career over after the star fullback’s contract was terminated.
Folau’s multi-million dollar contract was terminated a fortnight ago over a controversial social media post.
Pocock has often been seen as a juxtaposition to Folau in his views, a vocal advocate of a number of issues.
He and wife Emma did not get legally wed until same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia, Pocock uses his social media accounts to raise awareness about issues including climate change.
Despite their seemingly differing outlooks on live, Folau and Pocock have been long-time teammates and the flanker said the process was a difficult one for the sport.
“It’s been a really tough situation for rugby,” he said.
“I think at the end of the day we have got so much more in common than the things that might divide us and as a sport we want to be inclusive.
“We want to create a safe space for people, that when they turn up to play rugby they feel like they can be whoever they are and I’ve always said that sport is at its best when it’s inclusive and when it’s actually challenging society to be more inclusive.
“I think rugby’s done a great job over the years of doing that and it’s been dealt with now by Rugby Australia and it’s really sad to see him go but I really hope we can continue with the great work that has been done in creating that safe space.”
Pocock said there wasn’t any kind of victory to be celebrated.
“I’m sure, like anything, it can always be done better but it’s such a tough situation,” he said.
“It’s a very hard situation to come up with a winner. It’s just sad.
Pocock has always been vocal about his views on issues on social media, advocating for many causes close to his heart.
The 31-year-old was quick to move on from speaking specifically about Folau’s situation to discussing the impact everyone has on the world.
“I guess it is what it is now, we all need to move on and think about how we can play our part in creating a more kinder society and more inclusive society because we’re facing some much bigger issues and we’re facing some serious issues with climate change, ecological crisis that we’re in and we need people to be coming together and actually taking some meaningful action.
“Hopefully we can do that.
“There’s a lot of great things happening, it just happens that bad news seems to do better than all the good stuff unfortunately.”