Gareth Thomas apologises for joke about Marler grabbing testicles as fans demand rugby star faces sexual assault charge – The Sun

WALES legend and gay icon Gareth Thomas has apologised for making a joke on live TV about Joe Marler's groin grab on Alun Wyn Jones.

The England front row is facing a 12-week ban for grabbing the Wales captain's penis during the first half at Twickenham, while some fans have called on Marler to be charged with sexual assault.

When the footage panned back to the ITV studio, Thomas joked: "It would've never have happened in my day and I'm really upset about that — because if it had I would have never retired!"

Pundits, including Sir Clive Woodward, Jonny Wilkinson and Mike Phillips, as well as host Mark Pougatch all burst into laughter, before the footage went back to the second half.

But there was a backlash on social media over the incident and the 45-year-old's reaction to it.

He tweeted: "To the VERY small minority of people who were offended by my comment yesterday I apologise.

"I tried to find humour in a situation-that doesn’t mean I condone it, it means I wanted it to not be an issue.
"So don’t change the narrative to justify how you feel. Be kind."

Thomas bravely became the first high-profile rugby player to reveal he is gay.

He also revealed he has been suffering from HIV last September.

But that did not stop social media users piling in on Thomas.

@Roisin929 tweeted: "Disappointing reaction from Gareth Thomas, what could have been a learning moment or even a debate about behaviour on the pitch has now been laughed off as if that was appropriate behaviour in any space. Really weird."

Posting an image of the rules on making contact with genitalia, @KORNYpanda said: "I'm actually disgusted and appalled that Gareth Thomas and the guys find sexual assault funny.

"Hopefully @JoeMarler will be banned from playing for his actions."

Outraged @Mornadestt posted: "What really really sucks about this whole situation was family members sharing it and having to explain to them why them thinking Gareth Thomas' gay joke was funny, is part of the f***ing problem.

"Making a f***ing joke about it doesn't make it funny."

England won the game 33-30 after Wales staged a late fightback.

But the Red Rose's victory was marred by Marler's grope, as well as Manu Tuilagi's red card for colliding with George North's head.

Source: Read Full Article