HIBS defender Ryan Porteous has been targeted with ‘sectarian, homophobic and tumour’ abuse after his red card against Rangers.
The 22-year-old was sent off for a challenge on Joe Aribo in the first-half of the 2-1 loss at Ibrox.
The tackle prompted a major fallout with Steven Gerrard slamming the challenge, and Jack Ross defending his player.
Fierce debate was also sparked amongst pundits and fans alike over the tackle and red card decision.
Now Hibs manager Ross has revealed Porteous has suffered a barrage of “disgusting” abusive messages in the aftermath of his sending off.
He told The Scotsman that Porteous had received ‘sectarian and homophobic’ abuse as well as messages ‘hoping he died from a tumour’.
Opening up on the abuse which goes “beyond the pale”, Jack said: “It was a tackle, that’s all it was. People can have their opinion on how bad a tackle it was, that’s football, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the way there was a complete misrepresentation of it by people who used inflammatory language without thought. It definitely stoked a stronger reaction.
“He is a young man, who has had to deal with the professional disappointment of the way the game panned out but it is the other stuff he has had to deal with that’s inappropriate and we shouldn’t wash over it as though it is acceptable. The abuse, and people talking about him dying, that goes beyond the pale.
“Some people discussed it in a rational, balanced manner, as you would expect. But some people didn’t and blew it all out of proportion.
“Because of that a 22-year-old was subjected to the most dreadful abuse in the aftermath. I have seen it and it is disgusting. I have seen sectarian abuse, homophobic abuse, people telling him they hope he dies of a tumour.
“You can say that came in the aftermath of the incident or you can say it is in the aftermath of the way some people spoke about it but I have to be protective of him.”