A gay rugby player in Ireland says he may never again play the sport he loves after a brutal homophobic beating that left him with a shattered ankle and a dangerous eye injury.
Evan Somer, 23, said he was attacked after an evening out in Dublin last April, and he recently told Ireland television program Claire Byrne Live he may never again be able to play rugby again because of the horrific attack.
Somers posted to social media the attack happened along Dame Street in Dublin in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 10. He said he was trying to flag a taxi after visiting The George gay bar when he was approached by a man hurling antigay slurs.
“Last night a stranger called me a faggot before beating the shit out of me,” Somers tweeted from the hospital after the attack. “He left me with a fractured eye socket, 2 fractures in my ankle, a dislocation in my ankle & some other minor injuries.”
He added, “We’ve come a long way but still have such a long way to go in terms of equality.”
Somers also tweeted that he shared the photos to raise awareness.
“I felt like it needed to be seen instead of hidden away because this is the reality of what so many LGBTQ+ people go through regularly & if it makes you uncomfortable, maybe it should,” he wrote.
Last week, Somers gave an update on his injuries and revealed how they have left a lasting mark in more ways than one.
"I’m not sure I’ll get back to what I was doing before,” Somers said Friday on Claire Byrne Live, explaining how the eye injury and the plates and pins in his ankles may prevent him from playing rugby again. Somers had played with the Emerald Warriors, which proudly proclaims it is Irelands’s first LGBTQ-inclusive rugby team.
Somers told Burne he remembers little of the accident other than the man punching him hard in the face, knocking him unconscious.
“The next thing I remember is waking up sitting on the side of the road on a curb and my ankle was like facing to the left where it looked like it wasn’t connected to anything,” he told Claire Byrne Live.
The attack has left a psychological scar as well, Somers said.
“I’d be quicker to look over my shoulder now,” he admitted. “I am definitely more paranoid and aware of my surroundings.”