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Twickenham rugby fans accused of referee homophobia

2014-11-12
Nigel-OwensRugby fans at a recent rugby match at Twickenham have been accused of directing homophobic slurs at a referee. Referee Nigel Owens - who is openly gay - was criticised for some of his decisions on the pitch during the game between England and the New Zealand All Blacks, resulting in abuse from the stands. According to The Guardian, a number of fans have written of their disgust at the language used. Keith Wilson, from South Yorkshire, wrote: "As a lifelong rugby fan, a straight man in his 60s, I could not believe that a bunch of men half my age watching a rugby match in the 21st century could be capable of hurling such nasty, foul-mouthed, racist, homophobic abuse at an openly gay match official. "My equally disgusted son is in his 30s but next to him, hearing this vitriol, was a little boy. I felt ashamed." He added that the abusive fans would have been ejected from the stadium "if it had been a football match", and also pointed out that many of the fans had drunk excessive amounts of alcohol prior to and during the match. Earlier this year, RFL star Zak Hardaker was handed a five-match ban for calling another player a “fucking fag” - read more here. He was later accused of the offence for a second time, but the sport's governing body decided to take no further action - read the full story here.