Rugby star Gareth Thomas says he was victim of homophobic attack

Rugby player Gareth Thomas makes a point during the Rugby League Alitalia European Cup match between Wales and Ireland.

Former Wales rugby player Gareth Thomas has said he has been the victim of a homophobic attack in Cardiff.

Thomas, who retired in 2011, posted an emotional video on social media.

He had visible scratches on his head and appeared to have suffered bruising as a result of the attack, which he said took place on Saturday night.

The rugby star came out as gay in 2009 and has campaigned for LGBT rights.

Thomas said on Twitter: “This morning I have decided to make what I hope will be a positive video.

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

“Why I want it to be positive: I want to say thank you to the police, who were involved and allowed me to do restorative justice to the people that did this because I thought they could learn more that 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.”

Gareth Thomas and LGBT rights

Last year, Thomas invited homophobic internet trolls to come and repeat their abuse to his face.

Gareth Thomas sits in a field.

Gareth Thomas came out in 2009 (YouTube/Screengrab)

He issued an invitation to members of a Crystal Palace message board, after threatening homophobic comments were posted online.

Thomas said: “The most surprising thing out of everything is the acceptance of the level of abuse – the normality that abuse has been given. I find that unacceptable.

“It’s a human right that we are allowed to be who we want to be – but within this game if you’re not the stereotypical male or female we expect you to be then we’re allowed to abuse you for 90 minutes.

“I would give my right arm to sit down in a room with one of these people, just to understand their views.”