Broncos greats Darren Lockyer and Sam Thaiday have urged the current roster to “rise above” a string of alarming death threats sent to the team over social media following their loss to the Titans last weekend.
Captain Alex Glenn fronted the media in the days after the loss, revealing he had been forced to console younger teammates who had witnessed the shocking social media abuse.
With the franchise in the throes of one of its worst run of forms in its esteemed history, having notched five consecutive losses to remain winless since the enforced COVID-19 break, the Broncos have found themselves the punching bag of the NRL community.
While criticism is part-and-parcel of being an elite athlete, particularly one with an active social media presence, Lockyer believed a worrying line had been crossed.
“It’s alarming,” Lockyer told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER. “Social media, like it or hate it, its part of our life now, it’s part of society.
“Elite sportspeople put themselves out there, they have to take the good with the bad but there is a line and it seems like there’s some people that have crossed that line.
“It was good Alex Glenn to front the media and talk about that, just to highlight that when you do cross the line on that, some of the issues you can create with people’s mental wellbeing.”
An emotional Glenn didn’t want to silence understandably frustrated fans but believed death threats were “not acceptable”.
Broncos receive death threats
It’s a sentiment echoed by former Broncos forward Sam Thaiday who urged the squad to “be greater than the haters”.
“I think it’s a no-no for the people that are out there doing that,” he said.
“It’s an unnecessary evil. You shouldn’t be putting things out there like that.
“I came across a post the other day which was really good, it’s a bit of a mantra for me, ‘Be greater than the hater’.
“I just want the boys to rise above it, ignore the bad feedback, get out there and there’s only one way to turn this around, playing good footy on the field and winning some games.”
Glenn shared the news of the online death threats after he was asked why he had posted a passionate Instagram post about “bullying” on Monday.
“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 about that.”