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Mitchell to avoid ban for swearing on air, but not harsh words from his bosses

Andrew Mathieson -

Latrell Mitchell appears set to escape penalty for swearing on live radio on Thursday night, but will still face a dressing down from key South Sydney officials back at work on Monday followed by a meeting with NRL boss Andrew Abdo.

The interview on Triple M immediately after the disappointing 28-18 loss to the Brisbane Broncos was cut short after 30 seconds following the use of the F-word six times, including three in the opening five seconds of the chat with commentator Dan Ginnane.

“It’s alright, mate – look honestly f**k, in the end, f**k it was just a hard game; it just showed f**k what we were about,” Mitchell broadcasted.

“Honestly, they’re big boys, f**k they’re real competitors, that’s why they’re runners-up last year.

“F**k, I don’t care if I swear, boys honestly, but I am very happy still.

“I’ve scored 100 tries, so there’s something to celebrate there, no matter what the f**k anyone writes,” before Ginnane interrupts, “Alright, alright there, Latrell.”

The Biripi, Wiradjuri, Worimi and Gumbaynggirr man was one of the Rabbitohs’ best players and clearly by his tone walked off the ground was in a highly emotive state.

While Mitchell is not the first footballer to swear live on air, the profanity is unheard for the vast number of times that Mitchell broke social etiquette so flagrantly.

Mitchell will avoid a breach notice despite apparently more than 164,000 of Triple M’s Instagram followers viewing the outburst.

Roosters hooker Brandon Smith also similarly avoided a breach notice from the NRL last year, but he was warned for his use of excessive colourful language on a  rugby league podcast.

But Abdo quickly sought a conversation with South Sydney chief executive Blake Solly to arrange a meeting with Mitchell about understanding the behavioural expectations and standards of the league.

Adbo has always publicly supported Mitchell’s standing in the game and the fact that the NRL had marketed the 26-year-old as the poster boy in the Indigenous community.

“We encourage players to be themselves and be authentic,” Abdo said in a brief statement on the weekend.

“However, they also know they are professionals and role models, which also means setting an example.

“When speaking to fans via media interviews, (the game) has a responsibility to be respectful.”

But the Rabbitohs fullback’s decision to defend Broncos rival Ezra Mam so publicly amid racial sledging from Sydney Roosters recruit Spencer Leniu ahead of the NRL judiciary handing down its verdict had many criticising Mitchell's role in the hearing.

Mitchell responded to a separate radio post that proposed Leniu cop an eight-to-12 week ban by replying “and then some” that suggested the suspension should be greater.

The NRL handed down Leniu only an eight-week penalty that only agitated Mitchell more.

A Sydney newspaper poll found more than 80 per cent of respondents believed that from one of three options that Mitchell should be fined $5000 for his swearing.

The Triple M radio box that included retired players voiced their displeasure of Mitchell's comments. 

“I was up in the box for that one; it just felt totally unnecessary to me,” former Penrith star and respective commentator, Ryan Girdler, said over Mitchell’s latest antics.

“You don’t need to go on three or four times to make a point of swearing.

“I was thinking at the time, like if my two little girls were in the car … it puts parents in an uncomfortable position.

“Even if you do it once, you apologise because you can get caught up in the moment.”


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