Teenager who hurled alleged slur at Latrell Mitchell reportedly claims it wasn't racially motivated
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The teenager who allegedly hurled abuse at Latrell Mitchell during an NRL game has reportedly claimed that the exchange wasn’t racially motivated.
The incident is part of an ongoing investigation by the NRL and NSW Police, stemming from Thursday (March 9) night’s game between Penrith and South Sydney.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the vile incident occurred when the two teams were leaving the field at half-time to return to the dressing rooms.
Upon hearing what was said, it's understood the racial slur was reported to stadium security who ejected the spectator shortly after.
Powerful message from Jason Demetriou following the shocking revelation of racial abuse towards Latrell Mitchell.— The League Scene (@LeagueScenePod) March 9, 2023
The Sydney Morning Herald is now reporting that ‘sources with knowledge of the situation, speaking on the condition of anonymity’ have claimed there are conflicting reports of the incident.
All footage of the incident has been handed over to the NRL at the request of the police as they work to establish a version of the events.
An interview with the 15-year-old at the centre of the exchange will also be undertaken.
The Herald’s anonymous sources say there is no clear audio of the incident as the camera that followed the players missed the alleged moment Mitchell was abused.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the father talked to the police following the incident, admitting that his son ‘shouldn’t have said what he said’.
The new reports do not make clear what the teenager is alleged to have said that may not have been racially motivated.
However, the Sydney Roosters-jersey-wearing fan reportedly fled the scene on foot after Rabbitohs players had called on security to intervene.
NRL chief Andrew Abdo was clear-cut in his response to the incident, calling the abuse ‘completely unacceptable’.
“You’re not welcome in our game,” he said.
“You’re going to be called out. You’re going to be called out by players, by fans, by officials and eventually it becomes eradicated.”
The Australia Human Rights Commission is reportedly in the process of working with NRL clubs to lend their official support to new signatory guidelines.
Race discrimination commissioner Chin Tan said: “I am deeply concerned by the allegations of racial abuse directed at Latrell Mitchell during last night’s NRL match.
“This incident demonstrates the urgent need for professional sports organisations, including clubs, codes, stadiums and broadcasters, to work together to address spectator racism.”
Featured Image Credit: Nine/Today Show/Supplied/NRL
Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League