Richmond young gun Jack Higgins, who underwent brain surgery earlier in 2019 to correct a brain bleed, has been drawn into a spiteful situation on social media alongside partner Tenisha Crook.
An undisclosed rumour about the pair’s relationship circulated on social media over the weekend, eventually prompting Crook to take aim at people sending the pair ‘putrid’ and unsolicited messages.
Crook accused men of attempting to stalk and intimidate the pair.
“Absolutely disgusting that it has gotten to the point where I have needed to respond to this slander and defamation,” she wrote on her Instagram story.
“I am horrified at the amount of (all male) putrid messages received in mine and Jack’s Facebook and Instagram dms.
“The lack of privacy Hig and myself/others have received is appalling.
“Football fans need to learn to respect the privacy of players and their families/wives and girlfriends (especially in the off-season).
“Yes, there is a spotlight put on players and their partners. However, there is absolutely no right to abuse, stalk us and make up rumoured stories.”
Higgins still on the mend after surgery
Higgins, who has been sidelined since he was diagnosed with a brain bleed in July, faces a six-month recovery period after his surgery, which he last underwent in September.
Tigers general manager of football Neil Balme said while it had been hoped Higgins would be able to undergo a less invasive procedure, the 20-year-old was now only expected to return to football late next season.
"No one is underestimating how uncomfortable this is for the poor kid, and while they were hoping for a different procedure, that hasn't quite fixed everything," Balme told afl.com.au earlier in the year.
"The positive out of all this is there is still the same expectation for him - that he will fully recover and return to football when he is ready.
"With brain surgery, no one can be certain with recovery time frames.
"It is obviously very challenging, but again, the positives out of it are that once he gets through it, he will be as good as new."