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18th Nov 2018

Former Wales rugby captain Gareth Thomas says he was victim of homophobic attack in Cardiff

James Dawson

The rugby player described the attack as a ‘hate crime’

Former Wales and Lions rugby player Gareth Thomas has posted a video to social media saying he was a victim of an alleged homophobic attack on Friday night.

Cuts, bruises and swelling are visible around his face and head in the footage, in which Thomas describes the incident.

Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009 and made over 100 test appearances for his country, said he was posting the video to spread a “positive message” in the aftermath of the alleged hate crime.

“This morning I decided to make what I hope will be a positive video,” Thomas said.

“Last night I was the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality.

“Why I want it to be positive because I want to say thank you to the police who were involved and have allowed me to do restorative justice with the people who did this because I thought they could learn more this 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 who want to help us heal. So this, I hope, will be a positive message.”

Thomas was the first professional rugby union player to come out as gay and has worked as a pundit since his retirement as a sportsman.

A South Wales Police spokesperson told in a statement: “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.

“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.”