Two high-profile referees hit with death threats

Referees are essential for rugby league – without them there would be no games.

However, some ‘fans’ do not understand this issue and continue to berate officials for the job they are doing.

Unfortunately, that can sometimes go too far with increasing abuse online targeting officials as well as players.

Chris Kendall, for example, a referee in the Super League, was hit with death threats to his newborn child whilst Warrington Wolves star Josh Charnley recently met up with his online abuser who had sent death threats to the winger, too.

Now, it’s the turn of the NRL to be up against vile abuse as two referees have been subjected to death threats with one man charged by police, forcing the NRL to increase security at matches.

“They were credible death threats,” NRL chief Peter V’landys said. “And we’re not going to tolerate it.

“These referees are like all of us, they’ve got kids and they’ve got families.

“They are also human beings in a workplace.

“Rugby league is all about tribalism and a bit of banter and arguing about refs has been part of the game for years and years.

“But you can’t go overboard. Give them a fair go, it’s a tough job.”

Officials are lonely figures in the middle of the field and being human of course they are going to get decisions wrong, but death threats are ridiculous and should be firmly punished.

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