British rugby team names, shames, and bans homophobic fan from games

Keegan HIrst

Keegan HIrst Batleybulldogs.co.uk

The Batley Bulldogs, a British rugby team, is home to the sport’s first out professional player, Keegan Hirst. Just like their namesakes, the club bristled and defended their territory when one homophobic fan started attacking Hirst on social media because he’s gay.

In an open letter published on the team’s website, they name Jordan Coyle as the prejudiced soccer fan, and announce he will not be allowed to attend any more games because his abuse is “upsetting to everybody at the Club and unacceptable.”

“Since Keegan publicly confirmed his sexual orientation we have been delighted by the response and support he has been given by everybody at the Club and indeed throughout our sport. This is the first and hopefully the last time we witness such unpleasantness,” the club says in the statement.

“There is no place in our sport for homophobic abuse or indeed any abuse and we wish to send out a clear message that if you engage in such behavior we do not want you to attend our stadium.”

Check out the full statement below.

HOMOPHOBIC ABUSE – UNACCEPTABLE

It has come to the Club’s attention that Jordan Coyle, through Social Media, has been using Homophobic Abuse against our players, in particular Keegan Hirst and one of our supporters Anthony Cotton and this is upsetting to everybody at the Club and unacceptable.

Jordan Coyle we are aware is grieving for the sad loss of his father and we sympathise with his situation but that does not mean he can be abusive to players and supporters at the Club and so he will no longer be allowed entrance to the Fox’s Biscuit Stadium.

Since Keegan publicly confirmed his sexual orientation we have been delighted by the response and support he has been given by everybody at the Club and indeed throughout our sport. This is the first and hopefully the last time we witness such unpleasantness. He will shortly be leaving to take up a full-time career with Wakefield having given great service to the Club. We want him to feel welcome whenever he chooses to come to the Club. His friend, Anthony Cotton has been a regular visitor to the Club as a rugby league fan. We also want him to be treated like every other rugby league fan and be welcomed and feel at home and comfortable at our Stadium.

There is no place in our sport for homophobic abuse or indeed any abuse and we wish to send out a clear message that if you engage in such behavior we do not want you to attend our stadium.

We as a Club want to continue to welcome EVERYBODY to our home, whether as a player, official or supporter and whether from Batley or anywhere else.

We want everyone to enjoy being at the Club which clearly means we have to prevent individuals who challenge this approach from making any of our friends feel uncomfortable in any way or offending them.

Clearly, we have no control over such behaviour on social media or indeed anywhere else, but we have control over our Club environment. We hope this makes the position of the Club on this issue clear and we have no more such incidents.

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