Broncos captain Alex Glenn has slammed cyber bullies, revealing some of his teammates have received death threats after Brisbane slumped to five straight NRL losses.
An emotional Glenn said he had thrown his support behind teammates in the lead up to Saturday's clash with Warriors after witnessing vile social media abuse.
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“Certain teammates are getting death threats on social media. People can have their judgments but that is not acceptable,” he said.
“I am a big ambassador on mental health. No one should be told to go do something harmful to themselves for the way they are playing.”
Brisbane have copped a barrage of criticism after suffering a new low last round - being booed off the field by their own fans at halftime before losing to lowly Gold Coast.
But Glenn said nothing justified the abuse he had witnessed on social media.
“I have been in the industry a long time and I can switch off on social media, I can deal with the pressures but some of the younger boys can't,” he said.
“Some are 21 years-old, they are put in the limelight. When they get those comments ... I know deep down it affects them mentally - it hurts them and it hurts their families when they read it.”
The veteran back-rower shared the disturbing news of online abuse after being asked why he had posted a passionate response to “bullying” critics on Instagram on Monday night.
“I have just had enough,” he said. “And it's not just my teammates, it is friends from other teams (getting death threats).
“I understand it is a tough industry, we get paid to be professional athletes and we should be performing every week, but no one deserves to be told they should kill themselves.
“That's the issue. I was putting my foot down on that.”
Alex Glenn helping young teammates get through
Glenn said he had consoled teammates to help them get through the tough period.
“I don't want to name any names but I have spoken to some of the boys and just checking up on them," he said.
“We are in a tough industry where no one wants to show weakness but I know deep down it affects them so I want to help bring out the best in them, telling them we have faith in them.”
Glenn believed the tough week would galvanise the side.
“If we stick together we know what we can do. We have to have faith in each other to do our job,” he said.
“We are sick of losing.”
Meanwhile, Glenn said the team had been put on notice by coach Anthony Seibold with Queensland winger Corey Oates set to be dropped against the Warriors and replaced by Jamayne Isaako.
“One thing it (demotion) does is that it doesn't make you get complacent or get comfortable,” he said.