Ryan Porteous: Hibernian defender subject to online abuse after red card, reveals Jack Ross

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Hibs defender Ryan Porteous in training

Ryan Porteous has suffered "sectarian and homophobic" abuse after his red card against Rangers at Ibrox, says Hibernian head coach Jack Ross.

And Ross is calling for more to be done to protect players from "potentially dangerous" taunts via social media.

Porteous was sent off for a first-half tackle on Joe Aribo when Hibs were leading 1-0.

Rangers hit back to beat the 10 men 2-1 and Hibs failed with an appeal against the decision.

The 22-year-old defender will be suspended for the next two Scottish Premiership matches against Dundee United and Aberdeen.

Jack said: "We have to separate what happened on the pitch, it was a tackle and there are lots of different opinions on how bad a tackle it was. Was it a good tackle or a red card? It's done.

"But in the aftermath of that he has received an awful lot of abuse that goes beyond the pale. In my opinion, it is unacceptable. I've seen screenshots of sectarian abuse, homophobic abuse, people wishing him to die of tumours... I was pretty shocked by the venom.

"It's human nature when anyone receives that type of abuse it does shake them a bit. But hopefully the support we have given him has helped him come through the other side of it."

Ross also reckons that some of of the punditry surrounding the incident may have been a contributing factor.

"I can't say for definite the language used by some who give opinion of what happened on the pitch has helped stoke things but I certainly don't think it helps," he added. "Particularly when we are highlighting abuse through mediums like social media.

"It's not been nice for Ryan. We are fortunate here that our head of player care is an ex-police superintendent and we took guidance from him. It's an individual thing if you want to report that type of abuse in a criminal sense.

"I don't think we should differentiate between different kinds of abuse in Scotland where sectarian abuse has never gone away and is still rife, certainly from what I've seen of what was sent to Ryan.

"You are not going to eradicate idiots and they are usually the vocal minority, but I would hate for us in football to adhere to that lowest common denominator.

"You have always been subject to some forms of abuse within stadiums. Some of it was OK, some of it was banter.

"I don't want the game to lose that competitive edge around it, that tribal aspect, but if you blur the lines it becomes potentially dangerous."

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