The French National Rugby Team will wear rainbow laces on their boots at their next match in support of Welsh player Gareth Thomas who was recently the victim of a homophobic attack. France will play Fiji this Saturday at the Stade de France.
Thomas, the former captain of the Welsh International Rugby Team was assaulted by a 16 year-old teenager in his home city of Cardiff. With a visibly injured face, the openly gay rugby star took to Twitter to share the story.
Following the attack, Thomas chose to meet and speak with his attacker through the system of restorative justice.
— Gareth Thomas (@gareththomas14) November 18, 2018
The vice-president of the French Rugby Federation, Serge Simon tweeted the organisation’s condemnation of the homophobic attack. Simon’s message read:
“Dear Gareth Thomas, all of French Rugby is with you regarding the homophobic assault you’ve been the victim of. To show our support, the French rugby players will wear a rainbow shoelace during the France-Fiji game on Saturday night. We are all with you in this matter.”
All of French Rugby is with you regarding the homophobic molestation you’ve been victim of.
To show our support, the French rugby players will wear a rainbow shoe lace during the France – Fidji game on Saturday night.
We’re all in with you in this matter.
— Serge Simon (@DrSergeSIMON) November 20, 2018
The Rainbow Laces campaign was launched by UK LGBT+ charity Stonewall to show support for the LGBT+ members of the rugby community.
Additionally, England Rugby has shown their support for the Rainbow Laces campaign. The organisation, which supports men and women’s rugby teams in England announced their backing for the campaign for the second year running this morning:
“Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign allows everyone involved in the sport to show their support for LGBT equality and inclusivity and this weekend England Rugby is helping to raise awareness of the campaign.”
The statement continued:
“This is the second year the RFU has worked with Stonewall, in a partnership made possible by Try For Change, an England Rugby programme raising money to use the power of rugby union and the sport’s values to improve the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged people in England and across the world.”
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