Super League is investigating after spectators claimed they were told to remove rainbow flags while watching Israel Folau in his return to rugby league.
The former Wallaby, who was sacked by Rugby Australia for making anti-gay comments on social media where he claimed "hell awaits" homosexuals, scored a try for Catalans Dragons in their win over Castleford this morning as his exile from top-level sport came to an end.
It was Folau's first rugby league game in 10 years, after he left the NRL to play AFL then rugby union, and local fans in the south of France cheered his name as he scored with his first touch after catching a cross-field bomb in the first half.
Folau's signing caused uproar among Super League clubs and sparked a rule change to allow the competition to prevent "controversial signings" in the future.
While Dragons fans were happy to shower Folau with praise, not everyone was on his side. According to Sky Sports, some Castleford supporters said security at the ground asked them not to display rainbow flags during the match in protest of Folau's views on gay people.
Speaking to Sky, Alison Grey — who was among those with a rainbow flag — said people protesting against Folau's recruitment were told they had to remove their accessories for "health and safety" reasons before alleging a different directive was later offered up.
"We were then told it was against the views of the club for us to have the flags," Grey said.
Catalans and Super League both weighed in after being made aware of the allegations.
A Dragons spokesperson told Sky Sports News: "Rainbow flags are not banned at our club. It is not forbidden. We are gathering more information on what happened."
A Super League spokesperson added: "Everyone should have the right to respectfully express their views. We are investigating. We will receive a full report by the end of this weekend and have more details on Monday."
A man on Twitter claiming to be Alison Grey's brother, Chris Grey, said what allegedly happened was "absolutely disgusting".
Folau's wife and former Silver Fern Maria was on hand to watch her husband's return to the 13-a-side game as Catalans beat Castleford 36-18 in Perpignan.
When the dual code superstar's name was announced before kick-off, the local contingent cheered and later chanted his name when he scored his side's second four-pointer of the match after just six minutes.
Folau scored with his very first touch in what Catalans supporters will be hoping is a positive omen for things to come.