Update: As of Jan. 12, the Twitter account making the assault accusations has been deleted, with one London outlet reporting the accusations may have been a hoax. More, below.
The Charlton Rainbows is a “Charlton Athletic supporters group made up of Bi, Gay, Lesbian and Trans Gender fans who are standing up to homophobia.” As admirable as that mission may be, the sick world we call Earth also makes them a target.
Last night, the Rainbows tweeted out claims its members were victims of a physical attack, one conducted after receiving an hoax invitation to meet up with what it believed to be a similar group. The attack is alleged to have occurred before Charlton’s English Football Championship match against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Understandably, there aren’t many details available, and the Rainbows have not made any public indication of who the attackers may have been. But Sussex Police have confirmed an investigation has been launched, and closed circuit television footage is said to be available.
The incident doesn’t appear to have dampened the Charlton Rainbows’ spirits. The group has been relaying gratitude for the support it has received from fellow supporters’ groups, fans and LGBT organizations, while its twitter feed has already resumed business as usual, sending support to different teams in the Charlton Athletic system.
Update, Jan. 12, 2015: Addditional reporting by London24.com discovered that, contrary to original reports, authorities had not been contacted about a possible assault, and the investigations into the initial allegations started after Brighton supporters inquired with authorities:
PC Darren Balkam, Brighton’s football liaison officer, told London24: “Brighton fans directed me to a social media report of an alleged assault on a LGBT group from Charlton before the game in south London on Saturday.
“It indicated that it didn’t involve fans from either club. I contacted the Met and made enquiries and my message to the site was not responded to. The site was removed last night and I do not have any further information.”
The accusing account, @ProudCAFC, was inactive at the time of this update: