Canterbury winger Jayden Okunbor has bit back at a vile social media user who direct messaged the 24-year-old racist abuse following the Dogs' loss against the Titans on Monday night.
As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday, the back received an avalanche of expletive laden abuse from an Instagram user titled 'Paul El Azzi'.
El Azzi is believed to be a Bulldogs supporter.
The incident has been relayed directly to Canterbury officials.
🙅♂️ No place for racism. pic.twitter.com/4Dfvs7mGXG
— Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (@NRL_Bulldogs) August 5, 2021
Although Okunbor has openly admitted his form since returning to the first-grade side has been less than impressive, the dreadlocked Dog has publicly stated that he was always going to draw the line when he felt vilified due to his skin colour.
“I understand playing in the NRL puts yourself out there to cop criticism from anyone with a phone,” Okunbor posted in response to the tirade.
“I’m the first to admit my first few games back definitely haven’t been my best and that opens me up to even more criticism.
"I can cop some of that stuff but I draw the line at racism. I can’t understand how you think it’s OK to attack someone because [of] the colour of their skin and think you’ll get away with it.
“Wouldn’t normally do this but I’ve deleted racist messages before and I’ve had enough of it. So I’m calling this out.
“I’m not sure of your age, but whether you’re a kid or a fully grown man, you’ve got a hell of a lot of learning to do.
“And I can speak for a lot of people in the public eye, but also everyday people who put up with this shit from uneducated, ignorant people like you, do better.”
Speaking in the aftermath of the ugly incident, Canterbury CEO Aaron Warburton jumped to Okunbor's defense.
“It’s completely unacceptable behaviour,” he said.
“This person doesn’t have the right to call themselves a Bulldogs fan.”
According to Adrian Preszenko and Sarah Keoghan of The Sydney Morning Herald, the Bulldogs welfare staff are set to open discussions with the vilified back.
The attack on Okunbor is the latest in a depressingly long line of offensive online castigations on NRL players, with South Sydney superstar Latrell Mitchell abused earlier this season.
Okunbor can take solace in the knowledge that Mitchell's abuser - Daniel Robert Hudson - was brought to justice via conviction.