2 min

Rugby player recovers from gaybashing

Man struggles with concussion & rage


The rugby player gaybashed with a bottle on Pride Sunday says he is constantly angry and wants his assailant to pay.

“If I saw him I’d probably lose control and beat the shit out of him,” says Phillip Fournier. “I want payment for pain and suffering, for losing hours of work and time with my friends. I want this bitch to pay.”

Fournier, 20, and other members of the Muddy York gay rugby club were attacked after the Pride Parade. Fournier was hit in the head with a bottle, an attack he says has left him with a concussion and at risk of infection. He was also badly cut on an elbow and knee from broken glass.

Police have charged one man with assault, but are still seeking the man who hit Fournier with the bottle. They are treating the case as a hate crime.

Fournier says he won the fight.

“Two people on one and they still get their asses kicked,” he says. “I’m girly but I’m strong. If I have to defend myself I will.”

Fournier says he and teammate Dave Jones were on their way to a bar on Yonge St when they passed a group of young men. Fournier says the men were verbally harassing some lesbians and Jones told them to shut up. One of them then came charging at Jones.

“This guy came charging at Dave with his fist raised,” he says. “I tripped him, but he still hit Dave with his forearm. I threw him to the ground and punched him in the face twice.”

At that point Fournier says he was hit from behind with a bottle over the head. He says he cut himself on broken glass getting to his feet and went after the man who hit him.

“If I didn’t turn as quickly as I did and tackle him I could have died,” he says. “The bottle had broken, he could have stabbed me. I heard the clunk of his head hitting the ground. That was golden.

“I started yelling, ‘Fuck you, you really want to fuck with a gay rugby team?’ Then he ran away.”

Fournier says he didn’t need stitches but was diagnosed with a minor concussion. He says that he played in the team’s next game anyway.

“I’m not going to let a fight stop me doing what I want,” he says. “I got a bit dizzy but apparently it was the best game I ever played because I was so mad.”

Fournier says he’s been struggling with anger since the attack.

“I’ve been in this mad, horny, pissed-off state,” he says. “I’m on edge. I’m looking for a fight in my head. I called victim services and I was yelling and crying. I cried with my mom for half an hour.”

Fournier says he plays rugby partially as an outlet for his anger. He struggled with anger in school where he was picked on for being black and gay.

“When I was a kid I was in counselling,” he says. “I was mad all the time. I was the only black kid until I graduated from elementary school. I came out in high school. My last two years of high school if someone said ‘fag,’ I would shove them up against a locker.”

Fournier says he started drinking heavily after the attack, but realized it wasn’t helping.

He says he takes solace in his pets and favourite shows.

“I have my fishes, birds, my bassett hound, plus Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” he says. “I have all seven seasons.”