Wigan Warriors' Adrian Lam slams "threatening" personal messages
Adrian Lam has revealed he received “offensive and threatening” personal messages during Wigan’s tough times.
Their 22-0 victory at Castleford on Monday night ended a three-game losing run and the Warriors head to Newcastle’s Magic Weekend on Sunday looking to cement fourth spot, guaranteeing them a home play-offs spot.
Lam has spent more than three decades in professional rugby league – first as a player with the Sydney Roosters, Queensland, Wigan and Papua New Guinea and now as a coach – and so knows as well as anyone that banter and criticism is part of the game. But he says personal messages which he, and others, have received overstepped the mark
“There have been people messaging me saying the fans are ripping into you on social media and that’s white noise to me, I don’t read social media, and if they want to have a go at me that’s all part of the job,” said Lam.
“I do feel passionate, though, that the personal messages that sometimes my players get, my staff get, and that I get - there’s no room for that.
“I feel strongly that people should be held accountable to that.
“I have had personal messages that have been quite offensive and threatening, and there’s no room for that in sport, or in life.
"This has led to deeper things in the community and life in general, with work places and schools, and people hurt themselves.
“How do I put it? If I didn’t have a character that was strong I could see how it could offend people. I don't think there's any room for it.
"It doesn’t affect me but I know it’s out there, and it shoesn’t belong.”
While Lam realises why disappointed fans have targeted him with criticism, he feels some have ignored the mitigation, not least a long injury list throughout this season.
“Keyboard cowards, I call them, want to throw their two bob in without having an idea,” he said. “Bevan French hasn’t played all year, Jai Field has played three and a half games, there’s been no Dom Manfredi, no George Burgess, players missing half a season, it goes on and on.
“But the pact I made at the start was not to waste energy on what we can’t control, and we’ve done our best.
“We won at Huddersfield with 11 players out... there have been some good moments.
“Some have made their debuts, and developing them has been a positive – so it’s easy to look at the negatives and what could have been but we’ve got to appreciate the positives and look at what’s left and take it with both hands.”