United Kingdom: Tom Daley Gay Hate Tweet Footballer Arrested
Pink News UK reports:
A footballer in South Wales has been arrested following an anti-gay tweet about Olympic divers Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield.
The message on Daniel Thomas’s Twitter denigrated the diving pair, neither of whom is known to be gay, after they lost out on medals at London Olympics synchronised men’s 10m diving this week.
It said: “If there is any consolation for finishing fourth at least Daley and Waterfield can go and bum each other #teamHIV.”
Daniel Thomas, 28, a semi-professional midfielder with Port Talbot FC denied he had sent the homophobic tweet. According to a club statement at the time, he had been the victim of a “prank”. Both the club and Mr Thomas apologised “unreservedly” for the message.
Mr Thomas was suspended by the club pending an internal investigation.
Police have now issued a statement saying: “South Wales Police has arrested a 28-year-old man from the Port Talbot area in connection with offensive comments made on the social networking site Twitter.
“The man was interviewed at Neath police station and has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.”
Club chairman Andrew Edwards confirmed with the BBC it was Mr Thomas, saying: “He was called in by police and arrested yesterday [Wednesday] and is on conditional bail.
“It will be some time next week so, pending the police investigation, he’s still under suspension.
“We’ve taken legal advice and, when the police inquiry is concluded, we will deal with it from then.”
Earlier this week and regarding another case of Twitter abuse Daley suffered, Simon Reed, the vice-chairman of the Police Federation, the body for rank-and-file police officers, told The Times that they were “having to make it up as they go along” with regard to social media.
Mr Reed said: “There is legislation which concerns causing harassment, alarm or distress. If you are walking down the street and someone shouts abuse the law is there to deal with it, but can we police every incident on the internet when someone upsets someone else? I don’t think we have the resources to do that.
“What is needed is some clear guidance from the CPS or the Attorney General about where the line is drawn.
“We can’t have a free-for-all online but by the same token we cannot involve the police every time something unpleasant is said.”