Buzz: ‘Abandoned’ Seibold reveals stunning lack of support
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold feels like he has been abandoned by the game.
Despite being on the receiving end of the most vile and vicious social media attacks, not one person from the NRL has bothered to make contact to inquire about his well-being.
Not even one RUOK. Not a single phone call.
"I feel angry," Seibold said.
"I thought someone could have reached out.
"Even just a phone call to check in. It's been bloody hard.
"As a game, are we going to just accept it?
"I heard Ryan Papenhuyzen talking about some players receiving death threats on social media.
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"These are faceless cowards on keyboards hiding behind anonymous accounts. It's actually sad.
"I'd hate any other coach or player to go through what I have this last week.
"At some point, as a game, we need to take a stand."
Seibold is locked in isolation in his Brisbane home until next weekend.
He is with his wife and children but it can be lonely.
The Broncos have lost 10 of their last 11 and are now a real chance of finishing with the wooden spoon.
I asked Seibold if he felt like walking away. Not necessarily over the team's poor performances but from the personal stress and anxiety of the revolting social media attacks.
He is after support more than sympathy.
A phone call from the NRL's well-being and education department wouldn't go astray.
Or even the integrity unit, considering the slanderous nature of the messages.
"Will it drive me out of the game?," he said.
"I need to think about that at a later time.
"It's not just about me. I understand I'm in a high profile position at a high profile club. This is my family and other people mentioned in those disgusting and false messages.
"They don't ask to be in the spotlight.
"Say whatever you want about my coaching and the team's performances but to make up lies and all that abuse … it's sickening and I'm not going to cop it.
"Social media has gone to a level that is no longer acceptable.
"There's a big difference between having an opinion and supporting your team but when it's so distressing, so hurtful and so defamatory that's crossed the line. That's why I've gone to the police."
Cyber security experts are now trying to track down where it all started from.
News Sport understands they are making good progress.
The embattled coach watched Saturday night's game against the Canberra Raiders from his lounge room. No sound from the commentators. Just his TV and mobile phone.
He text messaged a couple of suggestions to recruitment boss Peter Nolan, who was sitting next to coach Peter Gentle in Canberra.
It was the same old story. A promising 8-6 half-time lead became a thumping 36-8 defeat.
"It was very typical of our year," Seibold said.
"Lots of individual effort but we haven't been able to put two halves of footy together.
"When things go against us we haven't had the resilience to handle it."
The social media aside, Seibold's coaching future is a big story, just two years into a five-year deal.
I again asked if he would be prepared to walk away.
"That's Karl Morris and the board's decision," he said, "They're good people and they'll make the right call. Any decision that's made will be in the best interests of the club."
An NRL spokesman said a member of their well-being department contacted the Broncos about the attacks on Seibold but not the coach himself.