Rabbitohs young gun Jaxson Paulo has taken inspiration from superstar teammate Latrell Mitchell — preparing to take evidence of social media abuse to the police.
The 22-year-old was hit with a barrage of abusive comments which included death threats following the club’s 26-22 loss to the Panthers.
In April 2021, Mitchell received a number of racially abusive social media messages which led to the NRL Integrity Unit taking the matter to the police.
Two men were charged following the investigation — and now Paulo will take a similar approach to the online blasting he received.
“He felt he could bring this up because of what Latrell has been doing for two years,” Rabbitohs boss Blake Solly said on Triple M.
“In some ways Latrell led the way and it’s great they feel they can bring it to public attention.
Solly also called out the “cowards” and warned police will track them down once an investigation is launched.
Paulo was forced to switch his Instagram account from public to private in attempts to limit the abuse and held a meeting with the Integrity Unit on Friday.
“They are working with police and will investigate,” Solly said.
“Jaxson and the club will take it further if the police believe they can.
“The cowards are using aliases and burner accounts to abuse people. The police do everything they can do to track them down.
“We have to call it out when it happens and make it public. By raising it publicly it makes people think twice before they do it again.”
Solly also revealed that the Rabbitohs playing group rallied around their “resilient teammate”.
“I spoke to Jaxson (on Saturday morning). He is pretty resilient. He bounces back really well. Thursday night and Friday wasn’t great but he has had a lot of support from senior players and the coaching staff,” Solly said.
The South Sydney club will also look at stripping those responsible of club memberships if they are season-ticket holders.
“In our minds when you speak with some of the fans and members who have contacted the club, the people that do this aren’t real fans or members,” Solly said.
“They are cowards.
“It’s not something our club will tolerate. Hopefully we take the strongest possible action.”
Speaking post-match, Souths coach Jason Demetriou revealed he would be sitting down with Paulo following his unhappy performance — but stopped short of blaming the 22-year-old for the loss.
“We’ll sit down and have a conversation,” Demetriou said.
“Against the best teams that’s the level that you’ve got to get to. As a young bloke you understand every error has an impact on the game.
“I still think we should have defended better, Liam Martin scores a barge-over to win the game — that’s a tackle we’ve got to make, and we don’t make it.”
News Source: Fox Sports