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Referee Marcus Griffiths reveals abhorrent homophobic messages sent to him

Super League referee Marcus Griffiths

The clash between Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants on Sunday was a difficult one for Marcus Griffiths with both teams battling with Warrington Wolves, Hull FC, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils for places in the play-offs, it was a must win game for both sides which meant that every big decision was scrutinised.

There were some big calls and Griffiths no doubt got the majority right but there were plenty of 50/50 calls that could have gone either way.

This is perhaps what caused such debate amongst fans as well as the drop goal which Leeds boss Rohan Smith went wide.

However, these 50/50 calls are no reason to seek a referee out for abuse especially homophobic abuse.

Griffiths was sadly subjected to this on social media and has shared the messages he received online saying that this is why we still need pride.

The RFL have backed Griffiths releasing the following statement:

“The Rugby Football League stands behind Marcus Griffiths, one of the full-time panel of elite match officials, as he highlights the disgraceful, homophobic abuse he has received on social media.

“Tony Sutton, the RFL Chief Executive, has written to all professional clubs today stressing the importance of observing the sport’s Tackle It policy and Respect code of conduct in supporting match officials.”

“All in the sport will condemn the appalling abuse which Marcus Griffiths has received on social media,” Sutton explained.

“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.”

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