Even South Sydney players sympathise with Anthony Seibold as the former Rabbitohs coach contends with vicious online trolls amid Brisbane’s NRL season from hell.
Seibold has engaged police and lawyers to try to uncover those responsible for starting a dirty smear campaign seemingly aimed at having the 2018 Dally M coach of the year sacked from the Broncos.
Seibold’s legal team is said to be closing in on the alleged culprits involved in spreading rumours about his personal life on social media, with European cyber security experts reportedly on the case.
But several of his former Rabbitohs charges say the 45-year-old should never have had to endure such an ordeal in the first place.
“It’s unfortunate and I feel a little bit sorry for ‘Seibs’ and everything that’s going on,” Souths’ NSW State of Origin back-rower Cameron Murray said on Wednesday.
“Obviously he’s gone through a difficult time there and he’s copping a bit from the outside.
“On a personal side and on a relationship basis that me and ‘Seibs’ used to have, that we shared in the past, I just hope he’s okay mentally.
“I hope he’s looking after himself and I hope he’s got good people around him and the professional that I saw that he was I have no doubt that he’ll get through it and he’ll come out a better coach and a better person.”
Murray said no NRL player or coach should have to cop what Seibold has.
“Obviously it is wrong,” he said of Seibold’s plight less than two years after he left Redfern in hardly ideal circumstances.
“I don’t think it’s healthy for NRL players to go through that but hopefully we’re taking steps to stop trolls and stuff like that and stop the unnecessary outside pressure.
“But for now it’s not really going anywhere and it’s kind of our job to manage the noise that comes from outside.
“For the people who do cop a bit, it’s important to have good people around them; good coaches, good teammates around to support them.
“It’s important to only listen to opinions that matter.”
Teammate Cody Walker, another 2019 Blues representative, says it’s especially disturbing that players’ families are targeted.
“We’ve got innocent kids that have got no bearing on what we do. It’s not their fault,” Walker said.
“We’ve seen it over the last couple of years, with racism and everything, how much it happens in our game with trolls ad everything like that and I’d certainly be open to a campaign of some sort to educate or whatever it may be so that we support some of that stuff.”