NRL launches investigation into racist abuse of Latrell Mitchell


Updated August 13, 2019 06:14:12

The NRL will investigate a vile racist slur made against Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell after the Kangaroos centre called out the offender.

Key points:

  • Latrell Mitchell and Manly’s Joel Thompson called out the racist comment, which was posted on Facebook
  • The perpetrator is likely to be banned from attending games
  • NRL boss Todd Greenberg commended Mitchell and Thompson for calling the abuse out

Mitchell posted a screenshot to his Instagram stories on Sunday night of the Facebook comment, where the offender claimed they would laugh if his neck was broken.

On the post, Mitchell wrote: “It’s just a game of footy. There is not (sic) need for comments like this.

“Shit like this is disappointing. 2019 an (sic) nothing is changing.”

Mitchell’s post was shared by fellow Indigenous stars Joel Thompson and Josh Addo-Carr, among others, with NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg hitting out at the offender.

“Racism must be called out in all its forms because the standard you walk past is the standard you accept,” Greenberg said.

“I commend Latrell for doing just that. These comments are disgusting and have no place in our game.

“What I love about rugby league is the diverse cultures and backgrounds it brings together. The heritage of our players is what makes our game so special.

“Incidents like this show why our school programs like In League In Harmony and Indigenous rounds are so important to educate the next generation about inclusion.

“There is no place for any sort of abuse on social media towards our players or their families.”

The NRL will investigate if the person behind the comments is a club member and if he can be barred from attending games.

The Roosters are also well aware of the matter and are leaving the issue in the hands of the NRL.

This incident is the latest example of the abuse Indigenous sport stars receive online, with AFL players Allen Christensen, Patrick Ryder and Liam Ryan among those who have been targeted in 2019.

Rugby League Players’ Association boss Ian Prendergast also backed the actions of Mitchell and Thompson for taking a stand on the matter.

“We encourage our players to have a voice in terms of telling their stories or about themselves and helping promote the interests of the game generally,” Prendergast said.

“But I think they’ve also got a strong voice in calling out behaviour they think is unacceptable. It can help better protect their fellow players as we’ve seen in recent times.

“Hopefully we see a trend in towards this type of behaviour that is completely unacceptable being called out as well.”


Topics: nrl, rugby-league, sport, sydney-2000, nsw, australia

First posted August 12, 2019 16:46:50

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