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Rugby teams wear rainbow laces to support Gareth Thomas after homophobic attack

Rugby teams wear rainbow laces to support Gareth Thomas after homophobic attack

Gareth Thomas.

The New Zealand rugby team (also known as the All Blacks) wore rainbow-colored laces yesterday (24 November) to support an openly gay rugby player.

But they weren’t the only rugby team to do so.

It all came about after ex-Wales captain Gareth Thomas took to social media to explain a homophobic incident he experienced.

He said in a Twitter video on Monday (19 November): ‘Last night I was the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality.

‘There’s a lot of people out there who want to hate us. But unfortunately for them, there’s a lot more who want to help us,’ he said.

All Blacks goes rainbow

When the New Zealand rugby team heard the news, they announced the team will wear rainbow laces in solidarity during their match against Italy yesterday (24 November).

They tweeted: ‘All Blacks players will show their support for former Wales captain Gareth Thomas by wearing rainbow laces in their match against Italy tomorrow.’

They later tweeted: ‘We stand with Gareth Thomas. Rugby is a sport for all and we will show our solidarity by wearing #RainbowLaces in our clash with Italy this weekend.’

The All Blacks then posted photos of the rainbow laces to Twitter.

In response to the show of support, Thomas tweeted: ‘I wish I could put in words what this means.’

This weekend, the Welsh, French, English and American teams also wore rainbow laces in solidarity.

Thomas then tweeted: ‘Beautiful words. Again all I have to give you from me and the LGBT community, is thank you.’

See also:

Gay rugby player Sam Stanley says he may never return to the sport professionally

More than 1 in 10 soccer stars know a gay player

Premier League chief: Gay footballers would be treated with respect