France will wear rainbow laces in Saturday’s match against Fiji in Paris as a show of support for Gareth Thomas.
Former Wales captain Thomas was the victim of a homophobic assault in Cardiff last week, and the video that he posted in the aftermath quickly spread online, with thousands coming out in support of the ex-professional.
A message of support for the 44-year-old, who played in France for Toulouse from 2004 to 2007, was then posted on Twitter by Serge Simon, the vice-president of the French Rugby Federation.
“All of French Rugby is with you regarding the homophobic molestation you’ve been victim of,” Simon said.
“To show our support, the French rugby players will wear a rainbow shoe lace during the France – Fiji game on Saturday night.
“We’re all in with you in this matter.”
Unsurprisingly, a lot of people have credited the French Rugby Federation for their gesture and idea, and hopefully it will be something that other nations take note of going forward.
On Sunday, Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, and was the first professional rugby player to do so, posted a video to Twitter in which he thanked the police and the people of Cardiff for their support following the attack.
He also said he had opted to deal with his attacker, a 16-year-old boy, using restorative justice, when a victim talks to the perpetrator about the harm they have caused, “because I thought they could learn more that way than any other way.”
Thomas added: “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.”
Thomas has received a lot of praise from the public for how he's dealt with the attack, and we can only hope that it's the last he receives going forward.