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Latrell Mitchell gives insight into toll of criticism, says he's "crucified" for being a blackfella

Jarred Cross -

Latrell Mitchell says "being a proud blackfella" is why he is "crucified most" in opening up on his struggles bearing the weight of criticism through his career.

Joining former Souths teammate Josh Mansour on the Let's Trot podcast released on Tuesday, Mitchell said he's often under the microscope for the wrong reasons.

Earlier this month, the 26-year-old and distant cousin Jack Wighton had all charges related to an alleged fight in Canberra ahead of the 2023 season dropped after a police sergeant admitted to giving false evidence in ACT courts.

It was the latest case of media attention he's received in-and-out of football.

The Souths fullback spoke candidly about seeking down-time at his farm back at home in Taree on the NSW mid-north coast, and support network of his family.

Injuries also presented a silver lining, helping build resilience as a person.

Asked by Manour "does that take a toll on you like when you hear and see negative stuff," Mitchell said his life has played out like a "rodeo".

"Especially stuff that's not even involved with me but my name is just attached to it. S**t like that just pisses me off as well because I know it's not true," Mitchell said.

"And then you look at different perspectives of other stories. In the comment sections, there are like 300 to 1500 comments when it's Latrell's Mitchell's name involved.

"All I've ever done is come out and just outline what happens in community and being a black person and being proud of me. That's all I've ever done and I've never done anything else wrong but be a proud blackfella.

"I think that's why I get crucified most."

At the Dally M medal in September, Mitchell won the Ken Stephen Medal in recognition of his engagement with Indigenous youth, mental health and grassroots footy.

He wasn't there to receive the award, saying "that's not what I do for the small school kids. And if I can leave an impact or change a kid's life...that's my job. That's my reward. That's my medal".

Mitchell unpacked his passion for farming, and buying a house for his parents.

On the legal matter, Mitchell said "I knew I was innocent the whole time" and "and trying to fake being happy for 10 months is pretty hard".

"I'm glad it's over. It's something that's been weighing on me for a long time my family and probably my family more so," he said.

Mitchell said while it eventually resulted in a "great outcome for not only myself but as a statistic in Aboriginal people" he was glad it was over.

After adjourning the matter, he admitted it was something he and Wighton "should have got it over and done with at the time".

Wighton will join Mitchell at South Sydney from Canberra in 2024.

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