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NRL hands down ban over Latrell Mitchell radio interview - but not to Latrell himself

Fans are savaging the NRL once again after the league sanctioned Triple M rather than Latrell.

The NRL has banned Triple M from filming post-match on-field interviews in a stunning post-script to the Latrell Mitchell controversy. Mitchell dropped at least five F-bombs in an interview with Triple M radio after South Sydney's loss to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium last Thursday night.

The Rabbitohs fullback acknowledged he was swearing but said he didn't care, sparking widespread backlash against the NRL star. The NRL has since decided against sanctioning Mitchell for his actions, which has led to claims the 26-year-old is afforded special treatment.

Latrell Mitchell, pictured here in his interview with Triple M radio.
Latrell Mitchell dropped the F-bomb multiple times in his interview with Triple M radio. Image: Triple M/AAP

The lack of punishment has been widely criticised, and the anger has grown even further after it was revealed on Tuesday night that the NRL has since imposed a ban on Triple M. The radio station has actually been breaking broadcast rules by filming video content from on-field interviews because they only have radio rights, not video.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Rabbitohs and Channel Nine both complained to the NRL about Triple M filming content, and the NRL has since contacted the radio station to remind them of their broadcast rights. Triple M have since deleted a social media video of their interview with Mitchell, and won't be allowed to film their on-field interviews going forward.

NRL cops more backlash after banning Triple M

Mitchell's expletive-laden interview was broadcast on radio only, but a video posted to social media went viral and sparked the controversy. While Triple M were in the wrong because they were breaching the rules, the NRL's decision has led to even more condemnation because of the message they're sending.

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Many have slammed the call to let Mitchell off while imposing a ban on Triple M. "The levels of adjustments being made here to do anything other than tell the player to just to act a little more professionally," one person wrote on social media.

Another wrote: "So the NRL punish the media outlet instead of the player at fault." While a third added: "So Latrell does the wrong thing, Souths have a sook but it’s Triple M are the ones being punished? Absolutely ridiculous by the NRL."

NRL boss rejects claims of Latrell Mitchell special treatment

Earlier on Tuesday, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo fired back at suggestions Mitchell was being given special treatment. The Rabbitohs fullback also escaped sanction for commenting on the Spencer Leniu racism case before it went to the judiciary - which is against NRL rules.

"I think it's important to note that I will always catch up with a player," Abdo said about his decision to meet with Mitchell for a chat, rather then fine him. "There's always been an open invitation to catch up with any player or official in the game from time to time on a range of matters.

"We have a number of high-profile players, and Latrell is one of them. He's a role model, he's a leader, and if there's an opportunity to engage with him and work with him on a range of issues confronting the game, then I wouldn't be doing my job if I wasn't doing that.

Latrell Mitchell, pictured here in action for South Sydney against the Broncos.
Latrell Mitchell in action for South Sydney against the Broncos. (Getty Images)

"That's quite a bold statement to make (about special treatment) and we've proven over the past that when a player breaches the rules and we believe it warrants a breach action, we take it. Equally, we've been accused of being too harsh on players.

"Everyone will have their view on that. I'm really comfortable with where this sits, and I'm comfortable with the action that we're taking at the moment."

Abdo pointed out that fellow players Brandon Smith and Toby Rudolf also escaped fines for controversial media comments in recent years. Smith repeatedly swore in an interview with the YKTR Podcast in 2021, and Rudolf caused a stir for saying he would buy "1000 beers" and "try and pull something" at a bar in a post-match interview on Fox Sports. "This is consistent with how we've dealt players before," Abdo said.

with AAP