Gareth Thomas has expressed his disappointment toward the Super League’s Catalans Dragons for signing homophobic player Israel Folau.
Last year, the 30-year-old professional rugby league footballer was terminated from Rugby Australia following his homophobic comments on social media.
Legendary rugby footballer Gareth Thomas, who is openly gay, said he is very upset by this and he will “never watch” any games with the homophobic player, reports ‘Gay Times’.
“Really upset by this as the game, players, and fans were so good to me,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter. “All I hope is that as much as Folau wanted his right to speak, then players and fans alike are aloud [sic] their right to respond.”
Keegan Hirst, the UK’s only openly gay player, also slammed the Catalan’s decision, saying: “It is really disappointing and very frustrating. Rugby league champions itself on being tolerant, inclusive and diverse.
“People work really hard promoting those values and this signing and the lack of being able to stop it by the RFL and Super League is a slap in the face to all those people’s hard work.”
He continued: “Anyone who has a moral compass or values, this is alienating and undermining those people.
“Everyone deserves a second chance but to get a second chance I think you have to be sorry for the mistake you made and show some remorse and want to better yourself and move one – that’s not the case.”
In a statement defending their decision to sign Folau, the Rugby Football League said: “However distasteful his previous comments, we don’t believe that, under our current regulatory framework, these can prevent his participation in the sport.”
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