The racist abuse hurled at Latrell Mitchell left great mate and fellow Indigenous superstar Cody Walker devastated.
The South Sydney five-eighth was visibly shaken when asked by 9News about the incident, which marred the Rabbitohs’ clash with the Panthers at Penrith’s BlueBet Stadium on Thursday night.
“I feel as though it’s the worst form of discrimination there is,” said Walker, who heard the slur and immediately reacted with fury while walking up the tunnel at half-time.
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“It’s absolutely disgusting behaviour.
“Hearing those sort of words come out of someone’s mouth … I dunno. I’ve actually got no words. Yeah, I dunno.”
Panthers co-captain Nathan Cleary also condemned the abuse.
“It shouldn’t be happening,” the Penrith halfback told 9News.
“I can’t believe it’s still happening.”
Greg Inglis, the man who wore South Sydney’s No.1 jersey before Mitchell, was racially abused at the Penrith venue in 2018.
“It’s horrible, it’s terrible, I don’t wish it upon anyone,” Inglis said on the LiSTNR Footy Talk podcast on Friday.
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“I went through it, a boy went through it.”
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Mitchell’s manager, Matt Rose, said many others in the same position would have already “walked away from the game”.
“Latrell’s a special person,” Rose told 9News.
“Am I worried about it? Yeah, I do worry about Latrell’s wellbeing. I know the scrutiny he’s under, I know he’s the biggest star in the NRL.
“And to lose Latrell to rugby league would be an absolute shame in the sport.”
Trent Robinson was Mitchell’s first coach in the NRL, and they tasted premiership glory together at the Roosters in 2018 and 2019.
“We’re still not at a point where we’re happy to accept really strong Indigenous voices in this country,” Robinson said.
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