Veteran Roosters star Josh Morris has implored supporters to stop abusing players online, after copping a disgusting and threatening hate message from a disgruntled fan.
Morris' twin brother Brett stole the show for the Roosters on Sunday, becoming the first player in history to start a season with back-to-back hat-tricks in a 40-6 trouncing of the Wests Tigers.
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Missing six stars including Boyd Cordner, Jake Friend and Angus Crichton, the Roosters barely got out of second gear in the 34-point thumping.
For Josh Morris, the victory was somewhat soured by a vile message from a rugby league supporter on social media.
Morris took a screenshot of the direct message on Instagram, that contained ugly abuse and threats of violence against the centre by the social media user.
“F**k you you dog c***, you f**ked my multi, i’m out the front of Leumeah stadium waiting for your bus to rock up, wait till you walk out of the that (sic) back door, you won’t know what hit ya," the disturbing message read, in apparent reference to a bet from the punter that was unsuccessful.
The NRL have provided the identity of the social media user to NSW Police.
"Our integrity unit is there to both administer the rules and provide support to our players," NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said.
"The Integrity Unit has conducted work confirming the identity of the individual involved and referred this abuse to the NSW Police online threats taskforce.
"I encourage all players and clubs to alert us whenever they are subject to any form of abuse.
"I want to congratulate Josh for calling out this abuse. What was sent to Josh was abhorrent.
"It's important that people realise these types of attitudes are not welcome in our game."
Such abuse from punters has become an alarming trend in the game, particularly from league fans reacting to betting losses.
Just last week, Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr posted a photo on Instagram of him holding a sign reading: “No one cares about your multi”.
Fan abuse not limited to NRL
The AFL has also experienced similar issues, with Brisbane Lions star Mitch Robinson last year hitting out at fans harassing players on social media over their betting losses.
Robinson urged fans to stop blaming players for their losing bets after GWS Giants captain Callan Ward shared death threats posted on his Instagram page.
“It has just got to stop. If you’re getting death threats like I’ve been getting, there’s some players couldn’t handle that,” Ward said on 3AW at the time.
Robinson's comments received widespread support from the likes of former NBA star Andrew Bogut and Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen.
“Not one AFL player gives a flying f*** how we cost you a $100 multi, it’s $5 bet you idiot,” he wrote on Twitter.
“If you’re struggling with that amount please don’t punt in the first place.
“Death threats & ‘hope you do your ACL next game’ I dare say we won’t pay you out either.”
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