The NRL community is rallying to ensure that Latrell Mitchell isn't forced to deal with racism issues on his own.

Mitchell was subjected to a racial slur at BlueBet Stadium on Thursday night, seemingly by a youngster wearing a different club's jersey, which led to Latrell notifying security and the kid being removed from the ground by security.

While Mitchell was clearly dejected by the incident, a host of past and present stars in the NRL have made their voice heard and supported the fullback throughout the ordeal, and condemned not just the perpetrator, but their parents as well.

“There is no place for racism anywhere in the world,” Isaiah Papali'i said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.

“Especially when one of our players is a victim of it. We all stand behind him and show our support.

“I back Latrell and even though he plays for an opposition team, we all play together.

“We are just human and there's just no place for it.”

Nicho Hynes doesn't want to shame the 15-year-old, instead, he aims to educate him, even extending an invitation to next year's Indigenous All Stars group.

“If Latrell was open to it and the boys were, why not (invite him)?” Hynes told The Daily Telegraph.

“He would be able to see what goes on and how proud of our culture we are. We have to make sure this kid's wellbeing is okay because he is going to be copping it.

“Whatever the consequence is, it needs to be hard on him but it needs to be fair and we all need to check in and make sure he is okay too.

Indigenous All Stars v Maori All Stars Men's
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 12: Nicho Hynes of the Indigenous All Stars is tackled during the match between the Men's Indigenous All Stars and the Men's Maori All Stars at CommBank Stadium on February 12, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

“High emotions this morning I would have said, ‘yep, ban him for life, he needs to be punished'. Once my emotions got intact and I found out it was a 15-year-old kid, first you don't want to name and shame him.

“You don't want everyone knowing who he is because they will go after him and they will forever be mean to him and throw comments at him.

“That is not good for anyone's wellbeing. I think you need to put him in a situation where he gets educated. I always try to put the shoe on what the other person is going through.

“Some people speak without knowing what they are saying. When I was 15, I knew about racism so I would never have done that.

“When I was a 15-year-old kid, I would have said some things before I even taught about it. Nothing to do with racism but you just say it.

“The people around him need to help him more – his family, his schoolteachers. The environment they are in, sometimes they don't get taught enough.”

Despite it not being the first incident Latrell has been subjected to, former Sea Eagles' prop George Rose was confident it wouldn't force Mitchell into a premature retirement.

“In the case Latrell, there are a lot of people who will fight with him,” Rose told The Daily Telegraph.

NRL Rd 2 - Panthers v Rabbitohs
PENRITH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Latrell Mitchell of the Rabbitohs looks on during the round two NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at BlueBet Stadium on March 09, 2023 in Penrith, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

“There's a lot of people who will stand up with him, and it's been from the start. What happened with Adam Goodes in the past, I don't believe the same support was there, as there is now for Latrell.

“A club like South Sydney, they won't stand for this. They made it clear they don't stand for it, JD (Jason Demetriou) was very strong in his post-match interview.

“And South Sydney, the oldest, loudest, proudest, he's got the support of a big club behind him, he's got the support of all of us, and he's got the support of people that will be vocal and stand up alongside him, fellow footy players, fellow clubs, the NRL – Andrew Abdo made a statement.

“People are going to support him. I know that still is not going to fix everything that hurts inside him and his family too, because it's his family that it will affect the most because they love Tell.

“Nobody likes to see their family get hurt, get abused or racially vilified. It always hurts more for the family to see that.

“We've got to let them know we're behind him, and this doesn't stand. Not in 2023.”

Former Rabbitohs' coach Wayne Bennett has always been an avid supporter of Latrell Mitchell, and despite now coaching a rival side in the Dolphins, the veteran remains in his corner.

“None of us want it and none of us stand for it,” Bennett told The Daily Telegraph.

“The game's certainly been strong in that area and I'm proud of the game for that. Society doesn't want it.

“People go to jail every day because they do something they shouldn't do. That person last night was out of order and I hope there'll be a consequence for those involved.

“People are still getting murdered every day if you listen to the news so that's a shame too, isn't it?

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 04: New South Sydney Rabbitohs Coach Wayne Bennett watches on Sam Burgess speaks to the media during a NRL press conference at Redfern Oval at Redfern Oval on December 4, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“The fact is we deal with it. It's not acceptable in our game and that's all we can control. What comes out of your mouth, you control.

“The game doesn't tolerate it and the players don't. It doesn't happen amongst the players.

“That's what I'm proud of.”

South Sydney teammates took to Instagram to show their support, sharing the club's statement condemning the incident, and ensuring their superstar fullback and friend knows they're by his side.


  1. “Nicho Hynes and Isaiah Papali’i are just two NRL leaders lending their voice to the travesty”

    “Lending their voice to the travesty” ?

    Nicho and Isiah are supporting what exactly ?
    – Supporting the condemnation of the kid who called Latrell a “something dog” ?
    – Supporting the condemnation of the call for the life ban of the kid ?

    A travesty is something that fails to represent the values and qualities that it is intended to represent, in a way that is shocking or offensive.

    The kid’s insult was hardly a travesty – it represented exactly his intended criticism of the player.

    So, it must be the life-ban that is a travesty of a balanced penalty.

    That makes sense, given that Ricky Stuart got banned from the Canberra ground for just ONE WEEK for his “weak-gutted dog” insult to a player. Is that what you meant ?

    If not, perhaps you could consider dropping the use of words like “travesty”, the meaning of which is not clear to you.

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