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Rugby club fined for fans' homophobic chants

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Huge news alert! The British Rugby Football League has issued a £40k penalty to the Castleford team because their fans hurled homophobic chants at openly gay rugger Gareth Thomas during a match.

A statement from the RFL read: "Castleford were found guilty of unacceptable behaviour, of breaching the RFL's respect policy, of misconduct by their supporters and of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the sport.

"The tribunal was chaired by his Honour Judge Rodney Grant, who criticised the club for failing to take steps to stop the homophobic chanting, for failing to identify the perpetrators, for failing to challenge the chanting and for their failure to undertake a meaningful inquiry afterwards."

This puts the role of curbing homophobia in sports squarely on the shoulders of teams and sports organizations. The league said a club cannot just brush off homophobic chants as "fans being fans," but rather they have to take it seriously and go to any lengths to curb it. Congratulations to the RFL for taking a huge step forward for every gay athlete and fan who has to endure the homophobia of the minority!

Hat tip to Howard Bragman.