Inglis demands life bans as racism repeats on Mitchell
A furious Greg Inglis has demanded the NRL hands down life bans in the wake of racial abuse of Latrell Mitchell.
With NSW Police investigating Thursday night's slur by a fan at Penrith, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo on Friday called the situation abhorrent.
Abdo also vowed to eradicate racism from the sport, adamant he would do all he could to support Mitchell after several racist attacks in recent years.
South Sydney officials are particularly frustrated that the incident is not the first to happen at BlueBet Stadium, with Rabbitohs great Inglis abused there in 2018.
Inglis on Friday leant his support to Mitchell, furious the 25-year-old had reportedly been subjected to the same "black dog" slur he received five years earlier.
"It's absolutely garbage. It's s**t, it's horrible," Inglis said on Triple M's NRL podcast.
"I don't wish it upon anyone. I went through it, my boy went through it. It's just not on. I hate it, it's s**t. It needs to be gone.
"That spectator when it happened to me did get a life ban. And I hope the same thing happens.
"It doesn't matter what team you support. If it comes across as a racial slur, you have to go. We don't need it in our game."
Abdo stopped short of speculating whether a life ban would be handed down, or confirming whether a teenager wearing a Sydney Roosters jersey had been identified as making the alleged remark.
But he was adamant the game would come down hard on any offender.
"The message to those outlying individuals is very clear - you are not welcome in our game," Abdo said.
"You're going to be called out, and not just by players but by fans and officials. We self-regulate in our game. And eventually it becomes eradicated.
"We haven't hesitated in the past, where we've had information, to act on it and enforce bans on fans, on participants, on those inside the game.
"Being part of rugby league means you have to adhere to certain standards and beliefs."
Abdo said he was desperate for the incident to become a line-in-the-sand moment.
"Whilst we might take strong action, we also want to use this as an opportunity to educate people that require it," he said.
"Not only around rugby league games but society more generally.
"Sometimes matters are very delicate so we need to think innovatively around what we do to make sure we are genuinely making a difference."
Abdo praised Mitchell and other players for stopping to call out the abuse, which was not the first levelled at the fullback in-person or online.
The NRL CEO said the game was keen to do more to protect Mitchell, who has become one of the sport's Indigenous leaders.
"We've reached out to Latrell," Abdo said.
"The club do a fantastic job to make sure he feels supported and the game will do the exact same thing.
"Our integrity unit is proactive and reactive in responding to these things whether they be online or behind the scenes.
"But there's more we can do and we're open to what those opportunities might be."
Mitchell made a pre-planned trip to Taree on Friday, as Rabbitohs officials also threw their support behind him.
Souths CEO Blake Solly called for fans to immediately report any slurs at grounds or online, labelling the abuse abhorrent and antiquated.
"This is a deeply disappointing situation, something our players should never be subjected to," Solly said.
"We feel as a club that the strongest possible action needs to be taken against the perpetrators.
"Latrell is a strong, proud Biripi man. He stands up for himself, his teammates, his club, his family and his people.
"This should never be discouraged by the actions of some people with archaic views."