Connacht and Irish centre Bundee Aki has taken to Twitter this afternoon to give his account of what happened when his name appeared in a list of those who liked Israel Folau's now infamous anti-gay Insta post from earlier this month.
The Australian international had his central contract with RA terminated after posting a graphic on the social media platform insisting that hell awaited those who did not repent for their sins, explicitly pointing to homosexuals, drunks and atheists amongst others.
Aki, who played Super Rugby against Folau in Australia back in 2013, said in a statement that he had "mistakenly" liked the post and that the content did "not reflect [his] views as a Christian".
I just want to address that I mistakenly liked Israel Folau's post without paying any attention to the content. When I realised what the post was about I immediately unliked it straight away, as it does not reflect my views as a Christian. Yes I do believe in God but my belief is that he is a God of kindness, peace and loves people in all aspects.
I have family members, friends, and i have worked with many people who are gay and I have nothing but love and respect for everyone of them.
I do want to apologise for any confusion or offence this may have caused anyone, and I will pay more attention to what I 'like' in future.
Aki's explanation of his actions comes after Saracens No. 8 Billy Vunipola was sanctioned by the RFU during last week's run-up to the English side's Champions Cup semi-final with Munster, for seemingly supporting Folau's outspoken assertions.
Both Vunipola and Folau come from similar backgrounds, born in Australia to Tongan parents, but the former moved to the British mainland as a child.
However, most figures in world rugby have vociferously rebuked Folau's actions with openly gay former Wales and British and Irish Lion player Gareth Thomas calling the winger "uneducated".