'Call it out': NRL issues stark warning over racist abuse

The NRL has warned any fan who racially abuses a player online will face bans from attending games after a spate of recent incidents.

The NRL's integrity unit is still investigating vile comments made against Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell on social media, after he publicly outed the offender.

It emerged on Wednesday that Blake Ferguson was also racially vilified earlier this season, with the NSW winger alerting Parramatta to the offensive messages.

And NRL boss Todd Greenberg said any person involved would have the book thrown at them, after the stance was backed by all 16 club CEOs.

"We've got an opportunity as a sport, to stand up and stand for something," Greenberg said.

Latrell Mitchell and Blake Ferguson have both been racially targeted this season. Pic: Getty

"And when we see it, we'll call it out.

"If we can find ways to make sure they're unwelcome in the game, whether that's a membership, simply buying a ticket, we'll do that.

"It's not easy (to find them). But we'll put some resources into it where we can.

"We've got a pretty sophisticated system in our integrity unit. We've got some smart people, and if we find them, we'll do something about it."

The NRL have previously banned fans who have racially abused players at grounds, most recently last season at Penrith after a slur made against Greg Inglis.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg. Pic: Getty

Players and NRL officials alike have applauded Mitchell's stance on the topic, after he took a screen shot of the abusive post and made both it and the offender's account public.

Greenberg also rejected suggestions players should simply avoid social media as a means to escape such online abuse.

"I've heard people say in recent days that the simple thing to tell our players is simply stay off social media. That's not the answer," Greenberg said.

"Social media is a part of the next generation, whether we like it or not. And some of that's very difficult for some young athletes to deal with.

"We're not going to stand by and allow our athletes to be racially vilified."