Young NRL player Latrell Mitchell has taken an anti-racism stance by calling out an online troll who targeted the 21-year-old star online last week.
A screenshot Mitchell captured of the abusive comment went viral after he posted on his social media a reply that was aimed at exposing the racism in sport.
Fellow Indigenous player Joel Thompson shared Mitchell’s post in a show of support.
Mitchell, who plays for the Sydney Roosters, responded to the online attack by writing:
“It’s just a game of footy. There is no need for comments like this. Sh*t like this is disappointing. 2019 and nothing is changing.”
Mitchell then took to Instagram to show his gratitude to his fans after an outpouring of support for his strong anti-racism stance, writing:
“Thanks everyone for the support it’s been so overwhelming, just gotta [sic] keep people accountable,”
The NRL has made a statement in support of the young player, saying they will investigate if the person behind the comments is a club member, and whether they can be prevented from attending future games.
The Sydney Roosters are aware of the issue but have chosen to leave it to the NRL to deal with the matter.
Online racial comments are not limited to the code of NRL, the AFL has recently banned another fan from becoming a member of the Brisbane Lions after racial comments were made on Facebook attacking Lions player Allen Christensen.
The online attack on Mitchell comes just days before the official release of documentary The Australian Dream which documents the racism that Adam Goodes suffered in his time as an AFL star and the casual racism embedded in Australia.
The attack, however, didn’t slow Mitchell down.
A cracking performance on Sunday saw the young gun score two tries to help the Roosters defeat the New Zealand Warriors by a whopping 42-6, ensuring any finals hopes for the Warriors were over.
By Caris Duncan