Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas says he was victim of homophobic attack
Welsh rugby ace Gareth Thomas has claimed he was the victim of a homophobic attack.
In an emotional video he posted on social media, the former Wales rugby union international said the abuse happened in his home city, of Cardiff.
Thomas appeared bruised as he said he wanted to share a positive video about it.
Thomas said: “Last night I was the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality.
“Why I want this video to be positive [is] because I want to say thank you to the police who were involved [and who] were very helpful and allowed me to do restorative justice with the people who did this, because I thought they could learn more that way, than any other way.
“And also to the people of Cardiff, who supported me and helped me, because there’s a lot of people out there who want to hurt us, but unfortunately for them, there’s a lot more that want to help us heal.
“So this, I hope, will be a positive message.”
According to South Wales Police, a 16-year-old boy has apologised after admitting assault.
In a statement, police said: "We are aware that a video has been posted on social media by former rugby international Gareth Thomas in relation to a hate crime which happened on The Hayes in Cardiff city centre on Friday November 16.
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"We can confirm a local 16-year-old boy was dealt with by way of Restorative justice following the incident at around 9pm.
"Restorative justice was at the request of Mr Thomas and accepted by the teenager who admitted assault and was apologetic for his actions."
Thomas spoke about his sexuality in 2009, after saying he had hidden the fact he was gay for years.
The Bridgend native has won 100 caps for Wales and captained the national side at the British and Irish Lions.
In response to his video, Thomas received messages of support.
Ex-Everton and Wales goalkeeper Neville Southall tweeted: “Sorry it happened mate, but there are thousands who support you.
“Love that you concentrate on the positives, keep being a role model. Top guy.”
TV Presenter Gabby Logan also offered support, saying: “Loads of love big man xx”.
My view: It is sad that some of these youngsters that commits crime, just don't have respect for anyone. When parents allow their teenage kids to hang out with the wrong crowd/toxic friends, they turn into street thugs. They think that they can use their
aggressiveness to gain and maintain social status.