"Last night, I was the victim of a hate attack because of my sexuality in my hometown. It was in a video posted on his Twitter account that former Welsh international winger Gareth Thomas, a true rugby legend in his country with 100 caps between 1995 and 2007 (including 50 as captain of the national team) was entrusted with the homophobic assault he suffered on Saturday night in Cardiff, where he lives.
The Welsh rugby player (1.90m), now 44 years old, was rescued by the police who were also able to identify his attackers. He wanted to make a "positive" video in which he thanked the security forces and the residents of Cardiff who sent him many messages of support on learning the facts.
The face marked by the violence against him, Gareth Thomas concludes his video with a message of hope: "There are many people who want to hurt us but unfortunately for them, there are even more who want to support us . "
Figure of homosexuality in sport
The former back of the XV du Poireau, retired for eight years and now consultant for the British channel ITV, had become a figure of homosexuality in professional sports. In 2009, he came out in an interview, becoming one of the first active rugbymen to break the taboo.
A few days after his coming out, Gareth Thomas played against his former club Stade Toulousain, where he received a standing-ovation of the 30,000 Toulouse fans present. Many personalities from the world of sport also thanked him and supported his decision. A film that traces his life and career is also being prepared.
Gareth Thomas: "More difficult to confess his homosexuality than to dump Lomu"