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Refs and death threats

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:03 am

Not sure what sort of mood or mind you have to be to contemplate doing this let alone in going ahead but news of another ref who received death threats to himself and his family. Why on earth people see a game as something to get so upset about I don't know but to target someone who has nothing to do with how bad or good your team is, is pathetic. Add into the fact that most of what these people complain about is absolutely correct from the law book is just another straw on the camels back.

Beeb:

'A referee says he has received death threats towards him and his young family since he was involved in the Rugby World Cup Final.

Tom Foley was the television match official for the game between South Africa and New Zealand last month.

World Rugby has recorded more than 2,000 direct threats against match officials in recent weeks.

Mr Foley, who is from Somerset, said having to warn his children's school about potential threats was "not fair".

He said the comments and messages he had received included threats to hunt him down and hopes he would die in a car crash.

'Complete cowardice'
Another social media user said: "May they live very short lives."

Mr Foley, who has been a professional referee for more than 20 years, said he had never experienced anything on this level before.

He wants social media users to have to provide identification so they can be traced.

"You can't hide behind this faceless façade. It's cowardice. It's complete cowardice.

"They wouldn't say it to you in the street. So why do they feel that they can say it online?"

Social media platforms say they are committed to tackling abuse, but expert at Introtweet, Pete Andrews, said the situation was "as bad as it has probably ever been".

"The platforms themselves do introduce features and there are things that we can do to have some control to be able to stop these things happening to a certain extent, but there is definitely a long way to go with it," he said.'

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Post by Old Man Fri Dec 01, 2023 4:33 am

The problem is anonymity on social media allows idiots to be brave souls, well in their eyes. In reality it is only a coward who threatens under the guise of anonymity.


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Post by doctor_grey Fri Dec 01, 2023 7:42 am

It's really difficult to visualise or understand what motivates someone to do this. As far beyond the Pale as one can get. Hoping that can go away for Barnes and his family now. Shame if this is what helped Barnes make the decision to step away.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri Dec 01, 2023 11:15 pm

Just a quick reminder that poor officiating is not limited to Rugby.  Here is an article excerpted from Sports Illustrated complaining about officiating in a number of NFL games. And the NFL has a lot of officials on the pitch and have a lot more video reviews. And still get things wrong. Puts in perspective what our one referee has to manage and get right.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/enough-is-enough-cowboys-seahawks-thriller-marred-by-poor-officiating/ar-AA1kPeIi?ocid=hpmsn&cvid=9ed71ea7b6a44f649051d670a775caa4&ei=100

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat Dec 02, 2023 8:58 am

Old Man wrote:The problem is anonymity on social media allows idiots to be brave souls, well in their eyes. In reality it is only a coward who threatens under the guise of anonymity.


I do take a slight take in of breath given this and the demise of the old profile but congratulate you on your growth.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Dec 05, 2023 2:53 am

And then (beeb):

Referee Tom Foley will take a break from international rugby because of the "torrent of criticism and abuse" he received after the World Cup final.

The Briton was the television match official (TMO) for South Africa's victory over New Zealand in October.

New Zealand captain Sam Cane's yellow card for a high tackle on Jesse Kriel was upgraded to a red card following a TMO 'bunker' review.

Foley will continue to officiate in the Premiership.

"Having reached the pinnacle in officiating at the Rugby World Cup final, now feels the right time to take a break from the international game," said Foley.

"The pressure and scrutiny I came under after the Rugby World Cup final, along with a torrent of criticism and abuse online, has helped to reaffirm that this is the right decision for me at this point in my life.

"While it's a privilege to be at the heart of some of the sport's most iconic moments, the increasing levels of vitriol, when the demands and expectation are so high, have led me to this moment."

World Cup final referee Wayne Barnes retired five days after the match, saying "vile" social media abuse towards him and his family "crossed a line".

Kane's red card was the first in a World Cup final, which South Africa won 12-11 in Paris.

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi also spent time in the sin-bin for a high tackle on Ardie Savea, but it was not upgraded by the TMO bunker.

Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Bill Sweeney said: "The abuse he [Foley] has suffered since the Rugby World Cup final, along with other officials involved in that game, is totally unacceptable and no-one should be treated in this way, doing their job for the sport they are so committed to and passionate about.

"We will do everything possible to help guard against the abuse aimed at match officials and players and would urge everyone in our game to consider the role they can play in upholding rugby values."

Foley, who started refereeing in 2010, has officiated in 48 Tests.

England Rugby said he will "step away" from the international game for the "foreseeable future".

England captain Owen Farrell last week made himself unavailable for the 2024 Six Nations "in order to prioritise his and his family's mental wellbeing".

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