Dally M Medallist Jack Wighton says cyber bullying is a massive issue that's costing people's lives, revealing both he and his Canberra Raiders teammates have been victims of cyber abuse.
NRL star Latrell Mitchell has put racism and cyberbullying in the spotlight last week after two men were charged for alleged online racist abuse of the South Sydney fullback.
It came just days before English soccer began a social media blackout on Friday - that will continue through until Monday - in a stand against online abuse and racism.
Mitchell said he's been racially abused since he was an eight-year-old and has taken to calling any alleged abusers out on social media.
The most recent alleged abuse was forwarded on to NSW Police, from Souths and then onto the NRL's integrity unit, resulting in charges being laid against two men.
Wighton's a proud Wiradjuri man from Orange and a distant cousin of Mitchell.
The 28-year-old represented the Indigenous All Stars for the sixth time alongside Mitchell in their pre-season showcase against the Maori All Stars in Townsville in February.
What the Raiders five-eighth especially liked about Mitchell's comments, when the Rabbitohs custodian spoke about the abuse on Monday, was that it wasn't just racism he was standing against, but also cyberbullying.
Racism, against not only the Indigenous community, has long been a problem in Australia and now online abuse has also emerged as a real issue.
A submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in 2019 stated up to 10 deaths per week in Australia could be due to cyberbullying.
Wighton has been hesitant to speak about Mitchell in the past, but was proud of the message the 23-year-old delivered just days before the Raiders came up against Souths.
Mitchell missed the Rabbitohs' 34-20 victory at Canberra Stadium on Thursday night due to suspension, but will be available for their round 11 clash against Penrith.
"I don't usually comment on Latrell you know and he was copping it last year, but I think that was very mature and very good," Wighton said.
"He didn't make it about himself, he made it about what could happen with others. I think that was very mature and one of the best messages I've seen 'Trell' spread.
"The way he put it out there - he's copping the flack, but it wasn't about him. It was about what could happen with others, even young kids mate, and it's a big problem.
"We all cop it each weekend, cyberbullying, and as he said lucky I'm stronger than some, but he's worried about the people that aren't quite as strong.
"I back Trelly 100 per cent and I'm very proud of that message that he spread, it was huge."
MORE RAIDERS NEWS
Wighton said the online abuse he'd received himself was simply that, rather than being of a racist nature.
But he still felt it was a massive problem facing society. And he's clearly not the only one.
The English Premier League, the English Football Association, the English Football League and the Women's Super League have all shut down their social media accounts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for almost four days to send a message.
European soccer's governing body UEFA also threw their support behind the stance in England.
"Not so much racist, mine's more cyberbullying," Wighton said.
" 'Trell' took the racist thing to cyberbullying and that's what I liked. He's backing the racism side of things, but he's also backing that wide span of cyberbullying.
"It's a huge issue because cyberbullying is massive and lots of people lose their life over it."
- Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you need to talk to someone.
NRL ROUND NINE
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Newcastle Knights at Wagga Wagga, 3pm.