ITV hit with 53 Ofcom complaints after Gareth Thomas' joke about Joe Marler's testicle grab on Alun Wyn Jones

ITV has been hit with 53 Ofcom complaints over Gareth Thomas' joke about Joe Marler's testicle grab on Alun Wyn Jones.

English prop Marler grabbed Wales rugby legend Jones by the balls on Saturday, as the two rivals faced off at Twickenham in the Six Nations.

His antics prompted openly-gay Gareth to joke at half time during the Six Nations match: "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!"

The gaffe from the rugby player went down well with some supporters on Twitter, but not so well with others.

A small selection, 53 in total, even aired their grievances with the watchdog saying they were unhappy with "the joke about the testicle grab on Alun Wyn Jones."

The Wales legend – who came out publicly in 2009 – later apologised in a statement on Twitter.

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."

However, others on Twitter thought he had achieved "the best bit of punditry in sport's history."

One fan went further and said: "Marler is a legend but Gareth Thomas's retort is priceless! Isn't rugby a wonderfully 'inclusive' sport?"

Marler also found the incident amusing, and was caught smirking by the cameras as Jones' complaints to the officials went unheard.

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

The footage has since gone viral on social media with everyone keen to have their say.

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.


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