Parramatta supporters abused substitute halfback Jake Arthur outside his own sheds – prompting a heartbreaking reaction from the star when a fan asked for his autograph.
Arthur, the son of Eels coach Brad, was pushed into the hot seat vacated by superstar halfback Mitch Moses last Saturday with a concussion against the Canberra Raiders.
Sadly, the young NRL half was unable to lead his side to victory, with one fan commenting on how furious Parramatta fans were as they waited for Arthur outside the team’s dressing room.
“After last night’s game, we went down to see the players. When they came out, they happily gave their time to sign things and take pictures,” the fan posted in an Eels supporter group on Facebook.
“There was a group of determined F-whites there when they saw Jakob come out, they started hitting him pretty hard.
“I couldn’t resist telling them to pull their heads in, the cowardly prodigies muttered something under their breath and wriggled away.”
Arthur was used after the loss to Canberra (pictured) to fill in for Mitch Moses, who has stepped down for 11 days under new NRL concussion protocol
Arthur shares a hug with his dad, Parramatta coach Brad, after his 2021 NRL debut
A Parramatta fan described the shocking treatment Arthur received from supporters after losing to the Raiders in a social media post (pictured)
What happened next illustrated the devastating effect that fan abuse has had on Parramatta’s young playmaker.
‘A friend of mine then asked him [Arthur] for a signature to which he replied ‘are you sure?’.
“That has to be one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen, a young lad doing his best for a team he loves and getting hammered by his own supporters.”
It comes after Jakob revealed he has taken advantage of Eels fans almost everywhere he has played over their claims that favoritism is the only reason he is on the team.
He was hammered in Brisbane on his Magic Round debut in 2021 in a game the Eels won 34-18 against the Warriors, and again after a tough loss to the Cowboys in Darwin last year.
Arthur admitted that he had to shut down his social media accounts because of the attacks.
“I don’t read any of it and haven’t been on social media since the beginning of the year,” he said late last year.
‘I’m still in touch with my mates, I just don’t read any footy stuff.
“All the time I was warming up on the sidelines last night [against the Broncos] I was sprayed.
‘I couldn’t help it. And it didn’t really bother me. I tried to take it as a challenge and enjoy that extra pressure instead of shying away from it. I learned at a young age not to react.
‘From a social media [perspective] I cop it for me and dad because he doesn’t have one [accounts].’
Arthur has been heavily criticized since making his debut against the New Zealand Warriors in 2021
Parramatta fans have turned up in droves to defend Jakob after the abuse following last Saturday’s defeat in Canberra
Parramatta supporters are now standing up to defend the under-besieged half and calling on other fans to leave it alone.
‘Who do they think they are? And what makes them so good that they are entitled to Jake? By all accounts, he appears to be a respectful, polite, sincere young man who is trying his best,” one fan wrote.
“He never stops trying. Unfortunately many so-called supporters never stop packing players, saying to put our young player through the system and then box them in when they get playing time,” added another.
Arthur senior was happy to let the media know he was angry after the game, but not about the treatment his son received.
“It’s very difficult to come here to Canberra, especially when you get a 10-3 penalty against you,” he said.
“We contributed to a few things, not enough kicks and a good ball, especially in the second half.
“I don’t know what else to say to the boys, I thought they were stiff.”