An English rugby player received a 10-week suspension Thursday for grabbing an opponent’s genitals during a match last weekend.
A viral video showed Joe Marler, a loose head prop for England, assaulting Alun Wyn Jones’ of Wales during a Six Nations match on Saturday.
BBC reports: The shortest ban under World Rugby rules for “grabbing, twisting or squeezing the genitals” is 12 weeks, though the commission reduced that by three weeks to take account of mitigating factors, including good character and remorse. However, they also increased the ban by one week after taking into account Marler’s recent disciplinary record.
More from OutSports: While some fans tweeted that they just witnessed a sexual assault, Gareth Thomas, a former Wales star who came out as gay in 2009, made a joke of it in his capacity as a match analyst. “It would never have happened in my day and I’m really upset about that because if it had then I wouldn’t have retired,” said Thomas as his fellow studio analysts laughed. A gay player making a joke about wanting his crotch grabbed? Thomas really missed on this one and seemed to realize it with an apology the next day that nonetheless felt forced and halfhearted. “To the VERY small minority of people who were offended by my comment yesterday I apologise,” he wrote on Twitter. “I tried to find humour in a situation-that doesn’t mean I condone it, it means I wanted it to not be an issue. So don’t change the narrative to justify how you feel. Be kind.”