Police investigate racist tweet aimed at Dragons Rugby's Ashton Hewitt
Gwent Police has confirmed it is investigating after a racist social media post was aimed at Dragons Rugby player Ashton Hewitt.
The Tweet was made on New Year's Day after the Dragons' defeat to the Scarlets in the PRO14.
Under the account name 'random black rugby player', the post mentioned Hewitt and clearly contained other racist references.
Hewitt shared the post in an effort to find who was responsible for it.
Gwent Police has now confirmed it is investigating after being contacted by Dragons Rugby.
Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said: “Officers are investigating and have spoken to the player and the club.
"Gwent Police take any allegation of racism and discrimination extremely seriously. There is no place for hate crime in Gwent.
"We are committed to ensuring our communities are safe places and welcoming for all.
"Anyone with any information which could assist the investigation is asked to call us on 101."
Dragons Rugby said they were 'disgusted and appalled' and said dealing with racism had been 'a constant battle' for Hewitt.
In a statement the club said: "Dragons Rugby is disgusted and appalled at an abhorrent racist post on social media yesterday evening targeting Ashton Hewitt.
"Dragons finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour totally unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
"The individual who expressed these views does not represent the values of our game.
"We thank supporters who have also condemned this post on social media and shown their support for Ashton.
"Dragons take all reports of hate crime extremely seriously.
"Such behaviour has no place online, in our stadium, in our community or in our game.
"As a region, Dragons Rugby celebrates equality, diversity, respect and inclusion, we firmly stand behind Ashton and continue to fully support his outstanding efforts when trying to eradicate racial prejudice wherever it exists.
"This is a constant battle for Ashton and the region recognises how difficult the past few months have been for him.
"The matter has now been reported by Dragons Rugby to the Police.
Hewitt has since posted on social media to thank people for their well-wishes and support.
Speaking to ITV Wales in June, during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, Hewitt said he had 'normalised' receiving racist abuse when he was younger after having to endure it for so long.