Teenage boy at centre of alleged exchange with South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell to contest his comments were racially motivated
South Sydney officials said Mitchell would be available for the Friday night blockbuster against the Roosters at Allianz Stadium.
It comes as the Australian Human Rights Commission urged NRL clubs to sign up to a code to stamp out racism at sporting fixtures.
While major competitions and sporting organisations such as the NRL, AFL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, Golf Australia, and some of the country’s largest sporting venues have adopted the principles, only one NRL club (Cronulla Sharks) is a signatory to the guidelines.
The Australian Human Rights Commission is believed to be in the process of working with several NRL clubs to lend their official support to the guidelines.
The code to address spectator racism was developed after a roundtable with heavyweight sporting administrators in 2021, a year after Brent Naden alleged he was racially abused during a game for the Panthers on the Central Coast.
“I am deeply concerned by the allegations of racial abuse directed at Latrell Mitchell during last night’s NRL match,” race discrimination commissioner Chin Tan said.
“This incident demonstrates the urgent need for professional sports organisations, including clubs, codes, stadiums and broadcasters, to work together to address spectator racism.
“The spectator racism guidelines that the Commission produced jointly with major sporting codes in 2021 show exactly what needs to be done to eliminate spectator racism.
“These guidelines include best-practice approaches for preventing racist incidents, and culturally safe processes for responding to incidents when they occur.
“They also include a range of resources that all sporting organisations can use to send the message that racism will never be tolerated.
“Having developed the guidelines alongside major sporting codes, I look forward to working with professional sports clubs to endorse the guidelines and put them into practice.
“There is no place for racism in sport.”
Mitchell has received support from a cast of Indigenous and non-Indigenous figures in the game after the incident, which marred the Panthers’ first win of the season.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson said he expected the clash between bitter rivals the Roosters and Rabbitohs to be played in the right spirit after referee Ashley Klein used the sin bin seven times in last year’s final.
“I expect there to be high energy in the stadium next week,” Robinson said. “I expect it to be played in the right manner, from both the crowd and the 26 players on the field. [Hopefully there is] respect all around, and let’s go.”
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