RL fan banned over ‘homophobic tweets’ to club’s skipper

A BATLEY Bulldogs rugby league fan has been banned from Mount Pleasant after allegedly sending homophobic tweets to club captain Keegan Hirst.

Jordan Coyle also allegedly sent social media messages to Hirst’s friend, Coronation Street actor Anthony Cotton, who plays gay barman Sean Tully in the popular soap.

Mr Coyle became involved in an online spat with Hirst following the Bulldogs’ 11-10 win over Featherstone Rovers on Sunday.

In a statement on its website, the club named Mr Coyle and said that he will no longer be welcome at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

It said: “There is no place in our sport for homophobic abuse, or indeed any abuse, and we wish to send out a clear message that if you engage in such behavior we do not want you to attend our stadium.

“We want to continue to welcome everybody to our home, whether as a player, official or supporter and whether from Batley or anywhere else.

“We want everyone to enjoy being at the club, which clearly means we have to prevent individuals who challenge this approach from making any of our friends feel uncomfortable in any way or offending them.”

Hirst, 28, made history last year when he became the first British rugby league player to come out as gay.

Since then, the club says it has been “delighted by the response and support he (Hirst) has been given by everybody at the club and indeed throughout our sport.”

The Batley-born prop recently confirmed that he would be leaving the Bulldogs to join Super League side Wakefield.

The club’s statement continued: “We want him to feel welcome whenever he chooses to come to the club.

“His friend Anthony Cotton has been a regular visitor to the club as a rugby league fan.

“We also want him to be treated like every other rugby league fan and be welcomed and feel at home and comfortable at our stadium.

“Clearly, we have no control over such behaviour on social media or indeed anywhere else, but we have control over our club environment.

“We hope this makes the position of the club on this issue clear and we have no more such incidents.”

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