NRL security guard act emerges amid racism storm around Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker

Details from an angry letter have emerged in the ugly NRL racism storm.

The NRL has launched an investigation into the alleged racist abuse of Indigenous South Sydney Rabbitohs stars Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker, with fresh claims emerging about a security guard's role in the incident during Saturday's loss against the Dragons. A wretched season for the Rabbitohs hit a new low after the bottom side's 28-14 away defeat to the Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium was compounded by claims Mitchell and Walker were subjected to racist abuse by at least one fan.

South Sydney confirmed on Monday they'd been made aware of claims the Souths pair were racially vilified by a member of the Kogarah crowd. The NRL club said it was made aware of the alleged incident by a member of the public, with a copy of the patron's letter to the governing body obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald.

Pictured left to right are Souths NRL stars Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker.
The NRL are investigating claims Souths pair Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker were subjected to racist crowd abuse during the game against the Dragons. Pic: Getty

“I attended the Dragons-Rabbitohs game, where the people sitting behind me were continually racist all game at Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker,” the email read. “They said ‘Latrell is like Mundine and the rest of them a black w[h]inger that needs to learn to shut up’. Cody was then called a “dirty dog”... After the 5th occasion, I called the man out when he said Latrell was a “black bastard” and when I asked him to stop he said “why should I, it’s my opinion” and he continued to repeat it."

The email goes on to claim that a security guard was eventually called over and one of the offenders admitted to the ground official that he used the derogatory term. The patron who complained said they also begged the security guard to get down the details of the alleged offender before they left the ground but the official refused and threatened to kick out the person for calling them an "idiot".

They say police were then notified of the incident and went in search of the alleged offender but could not find the man. The email continues with an accusation against the security guard of "blatantly ignoring" continued racism and claims the grounds official told police that the person calling out the alleged racism was the "antagoniser" in the situation.

South Sydney responded to the ugly storm on Monday to confirm the matter was being investigated and to condemn racism in all forms. "The Rabbitohs were informed of the incident by a member of the public as well as the NRL," Souths said in a statement. "The NRL has confirmed the NRL Integrity Unit is investigating the matter. The Rabbitohs stand in condemnation of any form of racism in our sport, and society in general, and will support the NRL's investigation in any way possible."


Unfortunately, it's not the first time Mitchell has found himself at the centre of a racism storm, with a teenage boy receiving a formal warning from NSW Police and a ban from the NRL last year after abusing Mitchell in a game against Penrith. Mitchell has frequently called out racism on social media throughout his career, and has recently been subjected to boos from fans at matches.

Anthony Mundine - who hit out at Mitchell's form in a shock swipe on social media earlier this season before making up with the Souths star - called for fans to show the 26-year-old more respect after it emerged he was likely to face more boos from Dragons fans on Friday night. Mitchell has already compared the nasty treatment he receives from some NRL fans to the boos that saw former AFL star and Sydney Swans great Adam Goodes quit the sport.

Speaking before the Rabbitohs' game against the Dragons on Saturday night, fellow Indigenous star Mundine said league supporters who booed Mitchell "should be ashamed" of themselves and insisted they were "not true Australians". "The reason he’s being booed is that he's a proud Aboriginal man and he stands up for his people," Mundine said. It’s 100 per cent uncool, not just for Latrell but any player. It’s unfair to do that to anyone, regardless of whether it is Latrell Mitchell or anyone else. It’s wrong in every sense of the word. They should be supporting the game and enjoying it...

Pictured right to left are Anthony Mundine and Rabbitohs NRL superstar Latrell Mitchell.
Anthony Mundine urged Latrell Mitchell to ignore the haters before his NRL return against the Dragons. Pic: Getty

"I know Latrell is very strong mentally and he shouldn’t give a sh*t about what people think and what people say. He just has to keep doing him and playing the best he can. I just hope it doesn’t get to Latrell. If it was me, it would motivate and inspire me to go to new heights. I wish my brother Latrell nothing but the best and I want him to succeed."

Saturday's latest drama against the Dragons has also overshadowed Walker's 200-game milestone for the Rabbitohs. It's also seen angry fans flood social media in support of the South Sydney stars, with many calling for life bans for any supporters found guilty of racial abuse.

with AAP