Leicester Tigers criticise 'vile and digusting' abuse of players
Last Updated: 10/04/19 10:00pm
Leicester have reported social media abuse of players and their families, including captain Tom Youngs, to the police.
The Tigers sit in the unfamiliar position of 10th in the 12-team Premiership Rugby table after a torrid season, and lost 52-20 to leaders Exeter last Saturday.
After the match the club were made aware of the "malicious content" on social media, and they have vowed to issue life bans to anyone found to be responsible.
A Tigers statement read: "Due to what we believe to be not only vile and disgusting personal abuse of players, but also their families, we have been in contact with the social media platforms and the police and have reported this as a crime.
"If we are able to ascertain who these abusers are, they will receive a lifetime ban from the club and Welford Road."
Chris Rose, Tigers Head of Brand, said: "The club is in no way above criticism. Everybody at the club accepts that we are not where want to be at the moment.
"We are all accountable for that and are working tirelessly to get better.
"Every person at the club finds it an honour to work at Welford Road and so accept all opinions on how we are doing our jobs for our supporters.
"But when this tips over into foul abuse the club will do everything in its power to make sure people that believe that is acceptable behaviour are found and dealt with."
Youngs added: "It isn't a new thing for players at Tigers and in all sports to be criticised for performances that fans don't believe are good enough.
"At the moment, we have not been good enough and accept that it means a lot to our supporters, who are entitled to have their say on our performances.
"However, no family members are deserving of being pulled in to that criticism and nothing of the sort myself and players have received in recent weeks is appropriate, ever."
Youngs, meanwhile, has been suspended for three weeks following the red card he received during the defeat by Exeter.