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

Jack Ross, Hibernian head coach, claims Ryan Porteous suffered "sectarian" and "homophobic" abuse following his red card against Rangers at Ibrox.
Ross also calls for greater protection of players from "potentially hazardous" taunts via the internet.

Porteous was dismissed for a first-half attack on Joe Aribo, when Hibs led 1-0.

Rangers fought back to defeat the 10 men 2-1, and Hibs lost an appeal against the decision.

For the next two Scottish Premiership matches against Dundee United, and Dundee United, the 22-year-old defender is suspended.

Jack stated: "We must separate what happened on pitch, it was tackle and there are many different opinions about how bad it was. Did it result in a red or good tackle? It's over.

"But he has been subject to a lot of abuse in the wake of that. It is unacceptable, in my opinion. I have seen photos of homophobic abuse and sectarian abuse. People wishing for him to die from tumours. The venom shocked me.

It's just human nature that anyone who is subject to such abuse will feel shaken. We hope that the support we gave him helped him get through it.

Ross believes that some of the punditry surrounding this incident could have contributed to the incident.

He said, "I cannot say for certain that the language used to express opinions about what happened on the pitch helped stoke people but it doesn't help," he added. Particularly when we highlight abuse via mediums such as social media.

Ryan is not happy about it. Our head of player care, an ex-police chief, is a blessing. We were able to get guidance from him. If you wish to report this type of abuse in criminal terms, it is up to you.

"I don’t believe we should distinguish between different types of abuse in Scotland, where sectarian violence has never gone away and continues to be rife. I’ve seen Ryan’s sent messages.

"You won't eradicate idiots, and they are often the loud minority. But I hate it that football adheres to this lowest common denominator.

"You've been subject to abuse in stadiums for your entire life. Some of it was okay, while some was just banter.

"I don’t want the game losing that competitive edge around its tribal aspect, but it can become potentially dangerous if you blur those lines."