An upset NSW Rugby League chief executive Dave Trodden has urged Anthony Seibold to contact him after the NSWRL was implicated in a 60 Minutes report about online trolling of the former South Sydney and Broncos coach.
Trodden was blindsided by bombshell claims on Nine that one of the people allegedly behind spreading vile online comments about Seibold and his family worked for NSWRL.
Former Broncos coach Anthony Seibold. Credit:Getty
The information came via the cyber-crime experts Seibold hired to get to the bottom of the false online rumours that spread like wildfire in recent months. Seibold passed on a report, containing names, to NSW and Queensland police and the NRL integrity unit.
Seibold said a person within rugby league was one of the names uncovered by the cyber experts, and reporter Tom Steinfort revealed the alleged NSWRL link.
"It’s someone who makes a living from our game,'' Seibold said on 60 Minutes.
"There's someone who is part of this conversation who has added to the rumours, who has then forwarded on the messages through social media platforms.''
Steinfort named the NSWRL before Seibold said: "It's a very high-profile franchise within our game.
"That's what so ironic about all of this, I can’t sit here and tell you these names because essentially 60 Minutes could be charged … it's crazy,'' he added.
Trodden, however, told the Herald on Monday morning: "I was surprised and disappointed to hear the allegations.
"We haven't heard anything from the police, we haven't heard anything from the NRL integrity unit, we haven't heard anything from Anthony Seibold and we haven't heard anything from 60 Minutes.
NSWRL boss Dave Trodden.Credit:John Veage
"We only became aware of the allegations on Sunday night.
"What they are talking about is really appalling stuff and should be addressed.
"We've gone to the NRL this morning to ask if any allegations have been made to them and if they relate to any NSWRL employee.
"We'd also welcome Anthony Seibold contacting us and telling us what [he knows].''
NSWRL had no idea about Anthony Seibold’s claims prior to the 60 Minutes.Credit:NRL Photos
The NSWRL employs 93 staff and is preparing for the State of Origin series.
Seibold has handed all information to the NRL and since moved back to Sydney to be with his family.
"The amount of hate and the amount of defamatory comments being spread, and what people were happy to spread, was crazy. That's not the Australia I grew up in,'' Seibold said.
"My situation went viral on social media with defamatory comments – my reputation was ruined in a lot of respects.
"The very last message upset me the most because it spoke about my daughter. For my mum and dad, it was hard for them too to see those messages.
"There was no truth to [the rumours]. I don't know what the motivation was for those messages. I don 't understand it. They wanted to hurt myself and the others named in some way shape or form.''
Erin Molan, a popular sports presenter for Nine, publishers of the Herald, also spoke about online harassment, and revealed how one troll hoped she had a ''stillborn''.
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