Australian sporting stars from the world of basketball and both footy codes have hit out at fans who send them death threats for ruining their sport bets.
Brisbane Lions star Mitch Robinson was backed by fellow high-profile athletes after he criticised gamblers venting at players who caused them to lose money.
‘Not one AFL player gives a flying f*** how we cost you a $100 multi, it’s a $5 bet you idiot,’ Robinson wrote on Twitter.
‘If you’re struggling with that amount please don’t punt in the first place. Death threats & “hope you do your ACL next game” I dare say we won’t pay you out either.’
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Brisbane Lions star Mitch Robinson (right) has drawn the support of other Australian athletes after criticising punters who abuse players online for ruining their bets
‘Not one AFL player gives a flying f*** how we cost you a $100 multi, it’s $5 bet you idiot,’ Robinson wrote on Twitter
The Lions ace received support from other AFL players in West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui and Ward himself.
Robinson’s stance was also backed by Boomers veteran Andrew Bogut.
‘Place a bet. Lose. Be an adult about it. OR It will be another thing our Pollies will debate banning,’ the Australian basketball icon said.
Greater Western Sydney midfielder Callan Ward said on Saturday he had been on the receiving end of threats – although did not link them to gambling – after being involved in a game-altering incident against Essendon on Friday.
Ward was given a free kick for high contact after a collision with an Essendon opponent, which led to him increasing the Giants lead to 10 points with under two minutes remaining.
But Ward said his late-game heroics was followed by punters angrily posting on his social media profiles – even leaving abusive messages under photos of his son Romeo.
Greater Western Sydney midfielder Callan Ward also revealed on Saturday he had been on the receiving end of threats – although he did not mention if they were because of ruined bets
Melbourne Storm player Ryan Papenhuyzen (left) said he too had been targeted by punters
‘With what has happened last night, the most disappointing thing is I have a lot of Essendon supporters, a lot of AFL supporters, commenting on photos of Romeo, my baby, and saying I’m a flog, all this stuff,’ he told 3AW.
‘I am copping it a bit, which is disappointing. I’m in a situation where as an AFL player we’re trying to get the game going and trying to play AFL football.
‘But at the same time we’re away from our families and it’s tough for us as well. So it’s disappointing to see that people feel the need to express their passion and hatred towards me at the moment.’
Ward said on Saturday he had been on the receiving end of threats after being involved in a game-altering incident (pictured) against Essendon on Friday
Melbourne Storm player Ryan Papenhuyzen said he too had been targeted, and believed he was not alone.
He said he’d received death threats this season and in 2019.
‘I don’t think that’s a surprise to any players; I think the majority would have,’ the 22-year-old said on Monday.
‘Lots of the boys after a game do get a fair bit of stick from fans and punters.
Boomers veteran Andrew Bogut also backed Robinson’s stance, saying ‘be an adult about it’ to punters
Papenhuyzen re-tweeted his support for Robinson after the Brisbane star’s post was applauded by sporting stars across Australia
‘We don’t go out there to lose peoples’ bets, we don’t go out there to make our Supercoach score as low as possible, we go out there to get a win.
‘I thought what Mitch (Robinson) tweeted was true … and hopefully more is done around that because the toll it has on players is pretty massive.’
Papenhuyzen said he’d been told by his NRL club to try to ignore the threats and comments but admitted it was unsettling.
‘It probably gets swept under the carpet because we probably don’t have a place to comment on it or it makes you a target if you do go at it,’ he said.
‘I think it’s for the people higher up to figure out and crack down on that a bit harder because us as players, if we say something it usually comes to bite us on the bum.’