Jarome Luai and his fiancee have broken their silence on the horrible abuse they receive on social media, which came to a head after State of Origin Game II in 2023. Luai's signature has been one of the biggest talking points in the NRL off-season with the three-time premiership winner announcing his move to the Wests Tigers in 2025.
The Panthers five-eighth has often divided fans for his antics on the field, but in a new series on Nine Now, called 'Undisputed', the 27-year-old has opened up on the abuse he has copped on social media. One such moment that prompted a swift response from NRL fans was his post after the Blues lost Game II of Origin.
Luai took to social media and took a swipe at his critics following the series loss. “Chill. All you idiots have work tomorrow morning,” Luai posted at around 4am alongside an image of himself and a number of crying with laughter emojis.
The post caused plenty of backlash. However, Luai has revealed the ugly racism directed towards him and his family after the post. Speaking on the documentary, Luai admitted he doesn't regret the post and said it was aimed at those taking aim at him.
After getting flooded with comments and abuse, Luai admitted he was more worried about the impact the messages would have on his family than himself. “All the messages are bad: racism, it’s everything you can think of. I’m just glad it’s me. It could be one of the young boys here at the club who might not have the same resilience or strength," he on the documentary.
“They [family] were the ones always telling me how angry they were about [the abuse]. I try to educate them that I can use it as motivation as well. I don’t want the emotions of rugby league to come back and affect my family – I want to make sure they never see me frustrated; it’s about leaving footy outside.”
Luai recently became engaged to long-time partner Bailey Paris Toleafoa. And his fiancee admitted she was glad her children are too young to be impacted by the comments. “I’m glad our kids don’t know how to read,” she said. “Some things people just shouldn’t say. Our main thing is to protect our kids from seeing that stuff.
Jarome Luai in mega Wests Tigers deal
Luai's contract saga had been the biggest talking point of the off-season, with the 26-year-old ending weeks of speculation at the end of December by revealing he'd signed a five-year deal with the Tigers from 2025. The contract is reportedly worth around $6 million over the five years.
The offer proved too good to refuse for the 27-year-old with a young family. Due to the salary cap squeeze that the Panthers' success has created, they could only offer Luai about $1.7 million for two more years. The 27-year-old has three young kids and couldn't ignore the extra $4.3 million he could provide to his family.
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