Liam Moore on abuse and social media as a Super League referee

WITHOUT referees, we simply would not have a game of rugby league.

They are essential, yet that fact is sometimes taken for granted when abuse and vitriol comes raining down from the stands or via social media against officials.

In a world where people have the freedom to say what they like behind a computer screen with little chance of repercussions, officials are often the target.

So how does Super League referee Moore deal with abuse? Well, he has learnt to develop a thick skin, though that doesn’t stop how tough it is when the abuse reaches his family.

“You almost develop a pretty thick skin to abuse and the things from the crowd. You become acclimatised believe it or not,” Moore told League Express.

“A lot of time, in a big game, it is often just noise anyway that you can hear and not really specifics. The challenge is more social media, not just with myself, but the way it impacts on your family.

“Ultimately, I am acclimatised to it and have developed a thick skin but it’s your wife and family, it’s not nice for them to see.

“If the world is going into meltdown on social media about the husband or the son or whatever relation they may be, that bit isn’t particularly nice.

“From my point of view, you’ve got to accept that, culturally, it is the way it is at the moment. Compare it to other sports where it’s either same or in some sports it is even worse.

“I’m not saying it’s right as you should never tolerate abuse but there needs to be some kind of stricter policies in terms of using social media but I think it’s going to stay.

“I even think that the vast majority of people – players, head coaches and club executives – accept that refereeing is a difficult job. It is high-speed decision-making.

“I’d say a lot of people are great, it’s just the small minority that have the loudest voices unfortunately.”

Despite the abuse, Moore’s passion and love for the sport is evident.

“I get asked what’s it like to referee a lot. It depends on what week it is! It can be a difficult job at times but it can equally be the most rewarding job you could ever do.

“My background is in law but I always use the example of rugby league giving me some massive highs that I could never comprehend but equally it has given me pretty low moments along the way.

“It’s the adrenaline of being involved in a sport that I love, being in the middle making decisions and playing a part in what is, in my opinion, the greatest sport in the world.

“It’s a job that is difficult because there is a lot of pressure but for me I wouldn’t have it any other way. I absolutely loving refereeing and love being involved.”

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