Former Wales rugby player Gareth Thomas has revealed he was the victim of a homophobic attack in Cardiff.
The 44-year-old sports star, who came out as gay in December 2009, posted a video to Twitter shortly after.
“This morning I have decided to make what I hope will be a positive video,” he told his followers, with visible bruises on his face. “Last night I was the victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality.
“Why I want it to be positive, is because I want to say thank you to the police who were involved and were very helpful and allowed me to do restorative justice with the people who did this, because I thought they could learn more that way than any other way.
“Also to the people of Cardiff who supported me and helped me, because there are a lot of people out there who want to hurt us, but unfortunately for them there are a lot more who want to help us heal, so this I hope will be a positive message.”
— Gareth Thomas (@gareththomas14) November 18, 2018
Shortly after, South Wales Police said a 16-year-old boy apologised to Thomas after he was apprehended.
“We are aware that a video has been posted on social media by former rugby international Gareth Thomas in relation to a hate crime which happened on The Hayes in Cardiff city centre on Friday November 16,” they said in a statement.
“We can confirm a local 16-year-old boy was dealt with by way of restorative justice following the incident at around 9pm.
“Restorative justice was at the request of Mr Thomas and accepted by the teenager who admitted assault and was apologetic for his actions.”
After Thomas came out in 2009, he was voted the most influential gay person in the UK and and received Stonewall’s Hero of the Year award.
He retired from rugby in 2011.