NQ's McGuire off social media after abuse
Josh McGuire of the Cowboys is tackled during the Round 25 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Friday, September 6, 2019. (AAP Image/Scott Barbour)
After copping vile abuse, North Queensland NRL enforcer Josh McGuire says he has ditched social media but has vowed not to change his aggressive on-field approach.
In August, he was forced to turn to his club for support after receiving multiple on-line death threats following a third contrary-conduct charge.
But McGuire said he was in a much better place since swearing off "toxic" social media.
"I don't take much notice of social media. I don't have it any more," he told AAP.
"I personally made a decision that it is a toxic environment where people are behind a keyboard and feel they can say what they want and are not really held accountable.
"I felt that you are only on it because you are looking for gratification from someone else; you want someone else to pump your tyres up.
"I am just here to play footy."
The low point for the Test and Queensland lock came after a three-match ban for running his hands over the face of Brisbane forward David Fifita in their round-21 clash.
McGuire had copped criticism for his ruck play in the past but the full extent of the on-line abuse did not come to light until his wife Tanyssa's alarming post on Instagram.
"Of late, he has been receiving death threat upon death threat. Countless threats of the most unthinkable things," she said in August.
"Mental health is constantly being spoken about within the NRL and yet what I am witnessing is the absolute bashing of a man who can only take so much before that thick skin starts to soften."
McGuire said life was much easier after abandoning social media ahead of the 2020 season.
"If the 17 guys I play footy with and my coach are happy with my performance, that's all that matters to me," he said.
"I don't need Joe Blow threatening my family. I don't have time for that.
"I have bigger things to worry about.
"I don't agree with it (social media) but some people like it. It's the way of the world now but I don't need gratification from anybody else - it has made life a lot easier not worrying about it."
McGuire admitted his string of contrary conduct offences had forced him to "play smarter" but refused to abandon his no-nonsense style.
"The club brought me here to be Josh McGuire," he said.
"Contrary conduct is someone's opinion at the match review committee.
"There are probably a million incidents that were the same or similar instances in games of rugby league but, with my history and the way I play the game, I have to be a bit smarter and bit careful about how I go about my business on the field.
"But I am going to keep competing hard and try and get the win."
© AAP 2019