Thomas was the victim of a homophobic attack last weekend in Cardiff, prompting the national rugby teams in France and Wales to don the rainbow coloured laces.
Thomas played 100 tests for Wales and three for the British and Irish Lions. He announced he was gay in 2009, and earlier this week posted a video to Twitter bearing bruises on his face after the attack.
After the All Blacks captain’s run in Rome, captain Kieran Read said the All Blacks would be getting behind the cause and joining France and Wales in wearing rainbow laces.
“Hopefully most of the lads will be wearing the rainbow laces,” Read told reporters. “It’s a show of solidarity within world rugby and from us here as New Zealanders and All Blacks to show support for that community.”
I wish I could put in words what this means.?? https://t.co/1z7yTwVelt
— Gareth Thomas (@gareththomas14) November 23, 2018
Thomas responded to a tweet from the All Blacks announcing the show of solidarity, writing ‘I wish I could put in words what this means.’
Thomas also thanked supporters with a heartfelt note on Twitter.
— Gareth Thomas (@gareththomas14) November 21, 2018
All Blacks and Hurricanes halfback TJ Perenara wore rainbow laces earlier this year to publically support equality after Wallabies fullback Israel Folau shared on social media that all gay people were headed to hell.
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