Gareth Thomas during an athletics event in London in 2012. Photo: Paul Childs/Reuters

LONDON – Gareth Thomas thanked his supporters on Wednesday, saying he would “fight for a world where acceptance of everyone is normal” after being the victim of a homophobic assault last week.

The former Wales rugby union star said he was a victim of a hate crime in Cardiff on Friday and he had carried out restorative justice in the hope of sending a “positive message”.

“After the physical scars have healed, I feel I have to say an unbelievable THANK YOU from me and all in the LGBT community for the support I have received,” Thomas wrote in a statement on Twitter.

“My mental scars will stay with me for some time, but will drive me to fight even more for a world where acceptance of everyone is normal.”

The police force said restorative justice was about “finding positive solutions to crime” and “encouraging young people to be accountable for the consequences of their actions”.

“To the group that attacked me, please stay true to your word and apologise,” added Thomas. “I believe you all when you said sorry.”

The 44-year-old also thanked the French Rugby Federation for their support after it was announced that France players would wear rainbow laces in Saturday's game against Fiji.

“To the French rugby federation, merci,” he said. “The players wearing rainbow laces in solidarity is an immense sign of inclusion.”

Agence France-Presse (AFP)