Legendary retired rugby referee Nigel Owens has shared a vile homophobic hand-written sent to him through the post.
Much-loved Welshman Owens, who refereed the Rugby World Cup final in 2015, published a picture of the horrific letter on social media to highlight the sickening abuse that he faces as an openly gay high-profile figure in sport.
Owens publicly came out as gay four years into his international refereeing career in 2007 and received huge support from the rugby community.
The 51-year-old announced his retirement from international rugby two years ago after reaching 100 games as the man in the middle.
But he has now shown the sickening abuse he continues to receive as a gay man in the public eye.
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Owens shared the snap of the letter, littered with homophobic abuse, which also targeted gay former Wales international Gareth Thomas.
The vile hand-written letter read: "The bible says 'man shall not lie with man nor woman with woman, it's an abomination. Nor should men dress in women's clothing, nor women with mens'.
"What do you think AIDS is? It is God's punishment to the sodomites. Forget that people pretend to accept you because they don't.
"The same goes for Gareth Thomas. His teammates think he is disgusting. He too is being punished by God. Only a Queer would buy a Korean car. You should be ashamed. "Yours, Steel Worker PT."
Owens considered whether it was the right thing to publish the appalling letter, but decided it would be in the best interests of forcing change.
"I’ve thought long and hard about posting this letter I received in the post a few weeks ago singed by a Steel Worker PT," Owens wrote.
"But unless we start calling out these kind of people nothing will change. It hurts and there is no need for all this hate. #BeKind."
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