Wallabies flanker David Pocock says it was " really sad" to see his former international teammate Israel Folau sacked by Rugby Australia.
Folau's four-year, $4 million contract was terminated two weeks ago after he posted a biblical quote on social media saying homosexuals would go to hell unless they repented.
Pocock has long been a supporter of same-sex marriage and has previously told Folau, a devout Christian, he "strongly disagrees" with the controversial fullback's position on the issue.
The 31-year-old activist also spoke about Folau's sacking for the first time publicly.
"It's been a really tough situation for rugby and at the end of the day we have so much more in common than the few things we might divide us," Pocock said.
"As a sport we want to be inclusive and create a safe space for people so when they turn up play rugby they feel like they can be whoever they are.
"I've always said sport is at its best when it's inclusive and it's actually challenging society to be more inclusive. Rugby has done a great job over the years of doing that.
"It's been dealt with now by Rugby Australia. I'm 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."
With Folau warned previously about his social media use and the latest issue again playing out very publicly, Pocock admitted the situation could have been better handled.
"It can always be done better but it's such a tough situation. I don't know, it's a very hard situation to come up with a winner and it's just sad," Pocock said.
"It is what it is now and we all need to move on and think about how we can play our part in creating a kinder society and more inclusive society because we're facing some much bigger issues than that.
"We're facing some serious issues with climate change, the ecological crisis we're in and we need people to be coming together and taking some meaningful action."
Pocock was then asked if he had considered a career in politics after football.
"I'm not sure, we'll wait and see. It's not something I've thought a lot about. It looks like a pretty hard slog," Pocock said.