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Toulon Owner Investigated For Defending Bastareaud's Homophobic Slur

Toulon Owner Investigated For Defending Bastareaud's Homophobic Slur
By Arthur James O'Dea
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Slightly over a month ago, French and Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud was caught on camera using a homophobic slur against an opponent.

Playing for Toulon in a European Champions Cup tie, Bastareaud called Sebastian Negri (Benetton) a "fucking faggot" after an altercation between the pair.

Subsequently banned for three weeks, the owner of Toulon Mourad Boudjellal is now under investigation for his apparent defence of the French man's language.

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Carried out by the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), Boudjellal is being investigated for comments he made to the French website rugbyrama.fr. Citing his fear that Bastareaud would receive an unnecessarily long ban on account of the "Mormon side" of the EPCR, both the Welsh and Irish were targeted on account of their apparent double standards:

I'm worried. What I fear is the Mormon side of the EPCR with the Welsh and the Irish.

These are people who sell morality when they do not have it. The same people who have ministers who are whipped in private but considered 'clean' guys in public.

Boudjellal's reading of the Bastareaud incident itself was equally contentious:

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In my view, we're talking about an insult that has entered common language.

At no point did Mathieu Bastareaud seek to make a judgement as to the sexual orientation of the player in question.

It's like when I can someone a son of a bitch, generally I don't know his mother.

Clarifying that he is "not homophobic either, but I have called someone a faggot", Bastareaud himself will surely not appreciate the whole issue being dragged up again on account of this subsequent investigation.

Although he argues that Bastareaud's comments came solely as a result of "the heat of the action", Boudjellal did concede that "the only area in which humour doesn't have a place is paedophilia."

At least we now know where the line is then.

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See Also: Shane Willliams Surprised By One Particular Omission From Ireland Six Nations Squad

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