Shaun Johnson Talks About Being Targeted By Online Trolls Following World Cup Loss
The rugby league star has revealed the online hate left his mother in tears.
"It's sad that people think they can alter the way I live my life, just because I am not performing on a league field," Johnson told Newstalk ZB.
"They don't have to live with that, I have to live with that, and I have to live with that for the whole summer now."
"None of us got trained to be in this position. Our supporters in New Zealand can be so passionate or can be ruthless sometimes," he continued.
"People can say 'suck it up' all they like but they are not the kind of people that experience what we experience. It's been the toughest period of my career."
"It doesn't actually affect me, to be completely honest," he added.
"I don't like seeing it — nobody would like seeing it — but what hurts me the most is that my mum sees it, my brothers see it and my girlfriend [Silver Ferns' Kayla Cullen] sees it."
"People that I really care about and I know it really affects see it. My mum texted me this morning saying she was crying when she saw some of the stuff that people wrote to me," he revealed.
"That's what breaks me, that's what I feel most embarrassed about; that she has to see some of that stuff and that is what affects me. I don't know if it is warranted or not but she still has to see it."
Shaun also clarified his post-match comments again:
"I've felt the people reaching out, people that have shown their love and support, and they are the people I want to put my energy towards," he said.
"I want to apologise to them because they are the people I feel like I have truly let down, not the ones that hate on me regardless."
"I've let the people down that truly believe in me and think I am a good person. I can't change what happened on the field — I'm going to have to live with that all summer," he added.
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