South West Wales

Referee Nigel Owens' hope for man who sent homophobic tweet

Nigel Owens Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nigel Owens was sent the tweet after refereeing a Six Nations match

Welsh referee Nigel Owens said he hopes the teenager who sent him a homophobic tweet can move on with his life after he showed remorse and apologised.

The tweet from Edryd James, 18, of Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthenshire, was investigated by Dyfed-Powys Police after complaints from the public.

The teenager apologised to Mr Owens at Carmarthen police station on Wednesday.

Mr Owens said he "applauded" Mr James for accepting he had made a mistake, adding it should not affect his life.

He told BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement: "It takes a big man to say you're sorry and to do that and also to do that publicly as well sends out, I think, a strong message.

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Media captionNigel Owens says the ones really hurt by homophobic abuse are those who are worried about coming out

"I think the important message here is that people who are genuinely sorry for their actions, then we need to applaud them for that and accept what they did was wrong, it was a mistake.

"And then we can all move on and them and other people become better people for it."

The tweet was sent to the referee after he officiated England's 55-35 Six Nations victory over France at Twickenham.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption An apology was posted on Twitter by Edryd James

Mr Owens said the people who complained about it were the ones who "can make a difference".

"When we have one individual or a few people shouting something in a stadium of 70, 80, 90,000... when you have more people turning around telling them 'there's no place for that here' then it does send out a strong message.

"And I think the same goes for social media as well.

"Those are the people who deserve the credit and can make a difference."

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