Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
thought police!

You’re Saying Rugby Fans Can’t Call Gareth Thomas a Faggot Anymore?

Britain’s Rugby Football League fined the Castleford Tigers £40,000, for fan misconduct and breaching the league’s “respect” policy, for homophobic taunts aimed at Gareth Thomas during a March game against his Crusaders.

The team was fined “for failing to take steps to stop the homophobic chanting, for failing to identify the perpetrators, for failing to challenge the chanting and for their failure to undertake a meaningful inquiry afterward,” a league tribunal ruled. Thomas applauded the decision. The team’s chief executive Richard Wright, who is considered an appeal, offered, “To say we are disappointed and shocked is an understatement. We totally refute the outcome of the hearing.”

I would too if somebody called my team a bunch of bigot lovers and made me pay for it. Apparently not on the table of options for the Tigers: Apologizing for stupid fans and promising to do whatever it takes to rid the sport of homophobia. But hey, I’m not managing their books.

By:           John Rogers
On:           Jun 30, 2010
Tagged: , , ,
  • 20 Comments
    • Dennis
      Dennis

      Many sports fans are drunken homophobic morons? Shocking, I tell ya, just shocking! LOVE the fact these idiots can be fined, wish we could do the same in the U.S.

      As a side note, it was awesome that the Blackhawk’s Stanley cup and the Cubs were represented at Chicago’s Gay Pride parade…so maybe change is coming, even if it’s too damn slowly.

      Jun 30, 2010 at 12:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EdWoody
      EdWoody

      Call him a faggot to his face, assholes. Then he’ll remove your own face for you.

      Jun 30, 2010 at 1:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drums
      drums

      A little context for those who might be unfamiliar with rugby and/or Gareth Thomas:

      According to Sports Illustrated, Thomas is notable as the world’s only current professional athlete in a team sport who is openly gay.

      Since coming out, Thomas has been a vocal supporter of the British charity ChildLine, a telephone counselling service for young people. In an interview, he said, “I don’t know if my life is going to be easier because I’m out, but if it helps someone else, if it makes one young lad pick up the phone to ChildLine, then it will have been worth it.”

      Stand up guy all around, and as EdWoody said, he’s massive and can probably take apart any bigot dumb enough to try to fight him.

      Jun 30, 2010 at 1:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • slobone
      slobone

      Wait, I thought he actually was a faggot? Then what’s the big deal?

      Jun 30, 2010 at 7:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Suzygoo
      Suzygoo

      @slobane: Correction-its “Mister Faggot” to you.

      Jun 30, 2010 at 8:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      I don’t like this at all.

      First, who says that the taunts are coming from the fans of the opposing team? Did it occur to anyone that it could be the fans of the Crusaders who are homophobic? I’d like more info…

      And now we’re shifting the responsibility from the fans to the team? Teams are supposed to know this how? In a crowded stadium, team managers and staff are supposed to know who is saying what how?

      I am so glad we don’t have this crap in the US. It’s one thing to ask for civility, but this crosses the line. This is not worth 40,000 pounds in fines.

      Jun 30, 2010 at 8:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tarxien
      tarxien

      First, to be pedantic, it’s unlikely anybody in Castleford called him a faggot. That term is rarely used in the UK.
      And, in answer to DR, it is the responsibility of the club to control their fans. There are stewards at the games to identify and remove morons who try to cause violence with racist and homophobic abuse. This has been done effectively in football, so-called “fans”, caught expressing racist abuse, have been given lifetime bans from football grounds, had their memberships cancelled, and some have been prosecuted and fined. As a result it is now possible for black players to play their game without a chorus of monkey noises and having bananas thrown at them which used to happen in the past.
      It’s a pity that the US sports organizations do not put the rights of minorities to be involved in sport before the “rights” of bigots to abuse and intimidate them.
      Perhaps that is why there are no major ‘out’ sports people in the US?

      Jun 30, 2010 at 10:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @tarxien:

      How do you, on the field, concerned with winning your match, control a crowd you are not a part of? You have to have security now walking around trying to listen in on everyone’s conversations? And then hold the team responsible, which, if you know anything about business, will ultimately harm the innocent players on the field.

      Here’s an idea…. grow up and stop insisting that words have the power you people give them in Europe. The more I read about hate crimes and the like as enacted in various European nations and Canada, the happier I am that the US shows some restraint.

      Jun 30, 2010 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tarxien
      tarxien

      @DR:
      Words are important, which is why there is so much discussion on this board about the use of the word “faggot”.
      No-one should have to accept being abuseD while they are going about their normal lives. No-one should be put off participating in sport by bigots.
      The emphasis on ‘free speech’ at all costs by some sections of the US population enables racist, homophobic bigots to make life intolerable for millions of Americans, which is why so many choose to move to Europe.
      And, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t a Hates Crime Bill just pass in the US?

      Jun 30, 2010 at 2:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR
      DR

      @tarxien:

      Yes, a Hate Crimes Bill did just pass in the US. Unlike European and Canadian laws, ours are nowhere near as strict. They require a real crime to be committed, and we generally don’t criminalize speech in the same way Europe and Canada does. For example, we’d never have the issue the Canadians did with Ann Coulter or that street preacher in the UK just this month; those would never be considered hate crimes. Unlike Europe or Canada, we don’t penalize speech, and we certainly don’t force a team to be responsible for the actions of the fans.

      Words are important, but only to a point. There gets to be a point where I personally say “man up and grow up”. If you’re so fragile that you won’t participate in sports because someone might call you a bad name, that’s on you, not on sports in general. Two of the three incidents reported here were drowned out by the Public Announcement system and there’s debate as to whether or not anyone would have even been able to hear what the crowd was doing.

      There are things about American culture which need to change, but criminalizing words and demanding that Big Government make everyone play nice isn’t the way to effectuate it.

      Jun 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete
      Pete

      Which begs the questions, why are fans so opposed to the idea of Mr Thomas being gay? Are they offended that a man like Mr Thomas should be gay in the first place in a sport that calls for overt masculinity? Are they chagrined by the idea that suddenly the sport has been demerited into a ‘sissy’s ‘ game or are they themselves just sexually repressed?

      http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2010/06/british-rugby-player-gareth-thomas-wins-a-40-000-pound-award-for-homophobic-taunts/

      Jun 30, 2010 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • badlydrawnbear
      badlydrawnbear

      @DR While I take your point it is important to understand that specific groups in most European leagues, control large blocks of seats so it is actually very easy for the staff of the hosting club to identify and target those fans and whether they are home team or opposing team supporters.

      It is also important to understand the European Soccer leagues still, to this day, have a massive problem of white supermicist groups controlling large blocks of seats taunting minority players with incredibly racist taunts, waving nazi flags, and throwing sieg hiels. Soccer has done little to address this, unlike rugby which has taken this issue head on and cracks down on fans and teams who allow this behavoir in their stadiums.

      Rugby has proven to be one of the most open and tolerant sports out there. They are clearly doing something right and this zero tolerance policy for hate speech from fans is part of the rugby attitude that what matters in the sport is how you play the sport and conduct yourself not wether you are black/gay/jewish etc.

      Jun 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • badlydrawnbear
      badlydrawnbear

      it’s also important to understand how the sport is ticketed.

      All of the teams are ‘club’ teams. That is they are privately owned clubs who sponsor the team. Most people who attend the matches, form both sides, actually pay membership dues to the club.

      They fans are literally dues paying members and this is how they got their tickets, it is typically very difficult to get tickets without being a member or a quest of a member. When they joined the club they accepted a specific code of conduct that explicitly forbids this behavior.

      So, as dues paying members of the opposing club, being sat in the visitor section of seats, and having been identified by stadium security as using hate speech to taunt players on the field the fine is actually being levied at the exactly the people who engaged in the behavior.

      Jun 30, 2010 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill
      Bill

      What other kind of behavior WOULD one expect from a group of people for whom the height of ecstasy is achieved by watching a bunch of adult men chase a ball out in a field?

      Jul 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hamoboy
      Hamoboy

      It’s saddening to see so much ignorance, especially from DR, whoever you are… these rugby matches (club games) are typically private affairs conducted at club owned stadiums, watched by paying club members and their guests… These people generally sign a strict code of conduct, that is typically not strictly enforces, but can be if the circumstances seem to deserve it (like these do)… Unlike soccer oor american football or hockey, rugby has traditionally been an upper-class sport like cricket and tennis… Homophobic taunts, indeed taunts of any kind, are not tolerated at events…

      Jul 2, 2010 at 6:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • @ Get Equal 'Why the h8 on Obamz but not the Repubs who ALWAYS vote against you? (John from England)
      @ Get Equal 'Why the h8 on Obamz but not the Repubs who ALWAYS vote against you? (John from England)

      @DR:

      I usually agree with some stuff you say but you are being illogical.

      Imagine working in an office and having someone stand right next to you screaming about the fact you are gay, black or disabled consistently non stop.

      You have a deadline and you know your boss would be angry if you didn’t fullfill this but this is happening.

      Grow some empathy.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CJ
      CJ

      Gareth Thomas is a stand-up guy. I’m a senior in high school here in the States, been playing rugby for three years because my whole family has played rugby. Gareth’s coming out is what inspired me to come out to my father last year.

      Rugby, and for that matter most high school sports, have a thick element of homophobia; but guys like Gareth Thomas, who don’t fit the stereotypical “flamer” mold, do so much to combat that homophobia. Props to the RFL for fining Castleford, it’s good to see when the establishment backs up the little guy.

      Jul 4, 2010 at 4:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rob Moore
      Rob Moore

      First, Gareth plays rugby union not rugby league. In the U.K. each component of the U.K. is independent of the other. England’s governing body for Rugby Union is the Rugby Football Union. Gareth Thomas is Welsh. The Welsh national team and the Welsh clubs are governed by the Welsh Rugby Union. Scotland is governed by the Scottish Rugby Union. The rules followed by all rugby union clubs and teams is the same worldwide.

      Rugby League and Rugby Union split well over a century ago. The rules, tactics, and scoring is different. Rugby Union fields 15 man squads and allows scrums, mauls, rucks, line outs, and real tackling. A try is 5 points. League fields a side of 14 and allows uncontested scrums only. League does not allow lineouts, and I can’t say I have ever seen a ruck or maul. I find League to be not as interesting to watch. I enjoyed playing Rugby Union very, very much. My favourite set piece was the scrum, which in a way is one of the most intimate contacts one will ever see between men short of actual sex.

      Aug 3, 2010 at 3:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kae
      kae

      The fine was reduced by half to 20K. Sounds like a storm in a teacup. Apparently there were about 3 men who tried to start a chant but nobody joined in; it lasted for a matter of minutes and it was drowned out by the audio system. But hey, GT made a point worth making and the league clubs will have to get a firm grip on this sort of thing now. As GT said, that the RLF imposed a fine sent a message to the rugby world and he feels safer for it.

      Dec 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dave willis
      dave willis

      Reply to Rob Moore
      1/ Gareth Thomas was playing rugby league at this point how else do you think he was playing on the same pitch as castleford tigers who are a rugby LEAGUE club? Thomas switched codes from union to league in march 2010 when he joined the celtic crusaders. Contrary to popular belief Thomas wasn’t liked by the rest of the welsh squad due to his bitching and back stabbing, he was the ringleader and instigator in the player rebellion against Mike Ruddock, Ruddock did fantastic things for Welsh rugby when he was coach. In my view they should have dropped Gareth Thomas from the Welsh squad and pusuaded Ruddock to stay. Fact is Thomas changed codes because Warren Gatland wasn’t going to put up with his trouble making, childish crap, and told Thomas he wasn’t wanted in the welsh squad,
      2/ No mr. Rob Moore there are 13 players in a rugby league team not 14 as you mention above.
      3/ Mr. Rob Moore – All rugby international teams are governed by The International Rugby Board (IRB).
      Are you sure you have ever seen a rugby game, league or union Mr. Moore?
      Now a message to everyone else:
      Let us all remember that after Gareth Thomas ‘came out’ to the Welsh squad members in the changing room after training he said “now lets go for a pint you bunch of faggots” FACT, he has even boasted about this comment he made during interviews. So how come it is OK for him to call people faggots yet when he is called a faggot it becomes a criminal offence with a hefty fine of £40k, doesn’t seem fair to me, call me old fashioned! By the way I am welsh and I fancy women does that make me homophopic or racist against a Welsh gay guy?

      Jan 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • QUEERTY DAILY

     




    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.