In a heart-warming chain of gestures, the rugby world has come out in full support of former Wales captain Gareth Thomas, following events outside the Principality Stadium last week.
Thomas, who has been openly gay since 2009 and an avid campaigner for the LGBT community ever since, was subject to a homophobic attack, following the conclusion of Wales’ victory over Tonga.
A visibly distraught Thomas posted a video on Twitter following the incident, where he revealed he had been attacked over his sexuality and attempted to use it to spread a positive message, and that it did.
Thomas was met with a wave of support which has continued into this weekend’s fixtures, with the help of Stonewall, a charity for LGBT rights, and their Rainbow Laces campaign.
BBC Sport Wales announced on Thursday that the Welsh squad would wear rainbow laces during their clash with South Africa, something Stonewall’s director of sport Kirsty Clarke is thrilled with.
“We are all delighted to be working again with the Welsh Rugby Union this year and look forward to seeing both national and regional teams participating in this year’s campaign.
“Our work won’t be finished until every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person, from fans to players, are accepted without exception.”
Gareth Thomas took to Twitter to respond to this gesture.
"And so the support for LGBT continues. Thank you from the whole community," the former Wales international wrote.
It’s not just in Wales where people are getting involved either.
New Zealand face Italy in Rome this weekend and their players will also be sporting rainbow laces, as confirmed by the All Blacks official Twitter page.
"All Blacks players will show their support for former Wales captain Gareth Thomas by wearing rainbow laces in their match against Italy tomorrow #rainbowlaces #pride."
Thomas replied with the message: "I wish I could put into words what this means," and was met with a mass of supportive comments.
The official Twitter page for the USA rugby team also tweeted out their support.
Their message read: "We believe in rugby for all. Together we stand with you @gareththomas14 and with the entire @IGRugby and #LGBT community."
Again, Thomas showed his gratitude in his reply, describing the tweet as ‘beautiful’ before thanking them on behalf of the LGBT community.
The support Thomas has received has been a joy to see and once again reminds people of the positives that the sporting world can provide.