CASTLEFORD Tigers’ chief Richard Wright is urging fans to ensure there is no repeat of last year’s homophobic chanting when Crusaders’ Gareth Thomas returns to the Probiz Colesium on Sunday.
The Super League site was handed a £40,000 fine – later slashed to £20,000 on appeal – for a breach of the Rugby Football League’s Respect policy after a section of its fans abused the openly-gay player on his second appearance for Crusaders last year
Mr Wright said the club has set up an extra response team briefed to eject fans demonstrating inappropriate behaviour, launched a poster campaign promoting the RFL’s Respect values and the installed CCTV cameras.
He added: “We’ve invited the RFL’s equality and diversity officer as guest of honour for Sunday’s game and we are very proud of the fantastic progress made in introducing new initiatives, some of which are firsts for rugby league and sport in general,” said Wright.
“We know that it was a small number of mindless fools that let the club, the town and the sport of rugby league down last year and we have taken steps to deal with these.
“Anybody found guilty of homophobic abuse has, and will be, banned from games indefinitely.
“Sunday is an opportunity for the fans to make a statement that Castleford Tigers is not a homophobic club.
“The club has played its part, it’s now up to the fans to concentrate on cheering the team and proving once and for all how this is a proud club, that warrants its reputation as one of the friendliest, family-orientated clubs in the game.”