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South Sydney savaged over 'childish' response amid Latrell Mitchell interview storm

Two NRL greats have called out the reaction from the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Former NRL players Wade Graham and James Graham have called out the South Sydney Rabbitohs over their 'childish' response to the Latrell Mitchell interview storm that landed him in hot water. Mitchell has been the talk of the NRL world after he dropped a number of F-bombs during a Triple M interview after the Rabbitohs' loss last Thursday night.

There were plenty of calls for the NRL to sanction the Rabbitohs fullback after the outburst. However, NRL boss Andrew Abdo instead decided to have a face-to-face with Mitchell to lay down the law. Mitchell was summoned to the Rugby League Central office in Moore Park on Wednesday night to discuss the situation.

Latrell Mitchell in an interview and James Graham reacts.
James Graham (pictured right) has blasted South Sydney's response to the Latrell Mitchell (pictured left) interview that landed him in hot water. (Images: Triple M)

Amid the drama, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Rabbitohs and Channel Nine both complained to the NRL about Triple M filming content. 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.

However, former Sharks and New South Wales Blues star Graham - speaking on Triple M radio - claimed the club has not taken responsibility for the Mitchell incident and tried to shift the blame. And James Graham agreed as he blasted the club's actions. "It's childish...the fact that it's being filmed is completely irrelevant. It's almost a big admission of guilt from South Sydney," Graham said of the club hitting back.

Graham said if Mitchell had been interviewed and he wasn't swearing and Triple M had posted the video, he doubts the Rabbitohs would have complained to the NRL about the radio broadcaster filming content. Mitchell tried to put the situation behind him this week when he posted: "There was no intent. No malice. Let's move on," he wrote. "Great week ahead. Friday night lights."

Latrell Mitchell meets with NRL boss

Despite Mitchell wanting the situation to be over, he had a meeting with NRL boss Abdo on Wednesday. Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Abdo said it was a "tough and honest" conversation. "I explained what's expected of him as an NRL player and the issues with his behaviour of the last few weeks which can't be repeated," Abdo said. "He acknowledged this and we agreed to continue to work together on some important issues impacting the game."

Latrell Mitchell reacts during a game.
Latrell Mitchell (pictured) has been slammed for repeatedly swearing during a Triple M interview. (Ezra Shaw via Getty Images)

Abdo was forced to address claims Mitchell was being given preferential treatment earlier this week around the fact he wasn't handed a fine. "We've proven over the past that when a player breaches the rules and we believe it warrants a breach action, we take it," he said.

"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. I think it's important to note that I will always catch up with a player. 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."

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The Mitchell situation has only piled on the pressure for the Rabbitohs who are 0-2 to start the season with coach Jason Demetriou already dropping halfback Lachlan Illias for the game against the Roosters on Friday night. Reports also suggest leader Damien Cook has been dropped to the bench in an eye-opening move from the coach.

Saliva Havili will start at hooker against the Roosters after a strong display in the middle against the Broncos last weekend. Havili scored a try and set up another as the Rabbitohs came back to level the scores at 14-14 against Brisbane, before the Broncos ran away with the game. As for Cook, the State of Origin hooker has struggled to unlock his potent running game so far in 2024.