Legendary rugby referee Nigel Owens has delivered a brilliant response after being abused on Twitter.
Responding to a homophobic tweet, Owens wrote: “Well you better hope someone takes a fancy to your backside then, because with a face like that you ain’t got no hope pal.”
Showing the full exchange later on, he added: “Another brave twitter keyboard warrior deletes his tweets and runs to hide behind the sofa when they are called out on social media. Think before your tweet next time pal.”
Writing in his Wales Online column this week, Owens has opened up on how he has dealt with abuse over the years.
He said: “I’m told my one line response to one of them went a little viral in terms of people liking it, but that wasn't my intention. I simply felt the individual was being rude and sometimes you have to stand up to these people.
“There was another, an Englishman who's in Australia, who called me a four-letter word. I noticed he has about 400,000 Twitter followers so again, rather than just ignore it, I responded.
What a wonderful example to people on Twitter with language like that. I have no idea who you are, or what you do, but with so many followers surely you should show a bit of a better example to them. Have a good day. X.'
“A lot of people seemed to latch on to that one too, saying 'Well done Nige.'
“Listen, people can criticise my refereeing, I know that goes with the territory, but there is no need in society for blatant rudeness and name calling. And, I'm sure, the vast majority of decent people on social media would 100% agree with me on that.
“I do get people telling me I'm better just ignoring this abuse, but I disagree with that at times. There is a responsibility in how you say things on social media, but perhaps there is also a responsibility sometimes not to just stand by and say nothing.
“Some of course are just plain horrible people and there can be no reasoning with them.
“But occasionally you need to stand up to these individuals and often, when you do, they will back off and realise the error of their ways. Imagine if everybody told them they were out of order... he or she would soon think twice before posting something quite so offensive again and social media, a great tool, would be better again for it.
“I think the reason I responded the way I did was because the England players and their coach Eddie Jones were the exact opposite, had been very complimentary towards me after the final whistle, saying 'Well done Nigel.'
“I’ve no doubts the vast majority of the public were also respectful, even if they may have disagreed with some of my decisions.”