NRL referee Ben Cummins has finally spoken out about the abuse he copped after that fateful six-again call during last year’s grand final.
The senior rugby league official infamously called “six-again” to the Raiders but then quickly changed his mind, but Canberra player Jack Wighton had already played on and so lost the ball.
Many people believe the confusion cost the Raiders a premiership as the Roosters would then score a try to win the game in the frantic final moments.
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Cummins has now spoken to the Sydney Morning Herald about that moment and the 12 months since, during which he and his family have been subjected to online abuse and threats.
The vitriol was so bad he had to “hide” for a week immediately after the grand final, then fled to Papua New Guinea for a month.
The NRL even called on police to patrol Cummins’ house following the game as a result of people trying to find out where he lives.
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“I was ashamed, I couldn’t celebrate with my (referees) team in the hotel,” Cummins said.
“I had family in town for the game. I basically went home and went into hiding. I stayed at my house for a whole week.
“The local command got in contact and said they were monitoring the house.
“We were given a contact by the police we could call if someone was there.”
The abuse was so bad it affected Cummins’ mental health and he admits to contemplating suicide.
“I’ve thought about a lot worse than just walking away,” Cummins said.
“I’m not proud of it but I thought about it (suicide). I was in a dark place after the grand final. Being ashamed of your performance, there’s not a lot of people you want to talk to.
“If people could just realise what goes on inside your head when these things happen. Not just for myself but my family.”
Cummins said his son still gets bullied at school while his three daughters have been subjected to online abuse.
He wasn’t given the whistle for Friday’s grand final rematch between the Roosters and Raiders.
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Originally published asHorrifying fallout of Grand Final blunder
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