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Israel Folau's coach tells children to find other sporting idols

Michael Cheika said children need to have their own self-esteem to detach from idols

2018-05-16

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has told children to get new idols following the controversial comments of Israel Folau.

Folau caused an uproar after claiming that all gay people will go to Hell unless they repent all their sins to God and has since defended his beliefs and continued to post anti-gay messages on his social media accounts.

Despite many other rugby stars criticising the highest paid Australian player, his own coach has taken a different approach and told children to admire other sporting heroes if they don’t agree with their comments.

Cheika told the Kick & Chase panel on Fox Sports: “Self-esteem in people, no matter who they are, is extremely important.

“If that’s something you don’t agree with, you detach from that. The way it will be is, ‘He’s no longer my idol’ if that’s the case.

“There’s been a lot made of that but self-esteem is so important and as parents, which I am, and as coaches, it’s something I try to do with the [Wallabies] lads.

“When players are getting the same in return – nasty messages, social media – it’s about trying to build self-belief, so you’re not affected by those things.”