Wigan Warriors: Matty Peet discusses concerning societal problem following homophobic abuse of Super League referee
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Referee Marcus Griffiths has been the victim of online homophobic abuse.
“You can single out the game, but it’s in every walk of life at the moment with some of the toxic things you see on social media,” Peet said.
“I don’t think rugby league as a sport particularly has a problem, it’s a societal one that runs through every school and every community group.
“Everyone is worried about what children and people are seeing on social media.
“We can’t be surprised that anyone in rugby league has been targeted because they’re high profile positions.
“It’s sad but I do think it runs much deeper than our sport.”
Wigan-born referee Liam Moore is among those to show support for Griffiths.
He wrote: “This is absolutely disgusting and rightly called out. Referees are human beings- abuse and hate crimes shouldn’t be tolerated in rugby league or society.”
Meanwhile, RFL chief executive Tony Sutton states the organisation will provide support for Griffiths and take action against those responsible.
In a statement, he wrote: “All in the sport will condemn the appalling abuse which Marcus Griffiths has received on social media.
“We will provide support to Marcus through Rugby League Cares, and have worked with him in alerting the relevant authorities, whether digital or law-enforcement.
“We would urge all involved in the sport, whether at clubs or even in the media, to consider the consequences of their words and actions.
“Homophobic abuse is a hate crime and punishable by law. We want to be clear that any kind of discriminatory abuse is not welcome in our sport, and we will take the strongest possible action against perpetrators who can be identified.
“Our Match Officials work under intense scrutiny and pressure. We owe it to them as a governing body, and also as a sport, to support them at all times.”