Star’s ugly truth amid ‘disgusting’ incident

NRL Rd 6 -  Rabbitohs v Sharks
Cody Walker says racism is still an issue in the game and has called on schools to improve the way they teach kids about Australia’s Indigenous history. Picture: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

South Sydney five-eighth Cody Walker didn’t hear the racial abuse hurled his way two weeks ago.

But the impact remains profound and led to the Indigenous superstar having “devastating” conversations with his young children and adamant there was an “issues in society more than the game”.

Walker and teammate Latrell Mitchell were allegedly abused during the round 10 game against the Dragons, with the NRL banning two spectators indefinitely a year after Mitchell was also abused at a game in Penrith.

The NRL will celebrate Indigenous Round this week, and while the game and its players are doing so much to celebrate the culture and history, there’s an acknowledgment that more needs to be done in society to stamp out this sort of behaviour.

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Indigenous stars Cody Walker and Latrell Mitchell were allegedly racially abused at a game two weeks ago. Picture: NRL Photos

“It’s obvious that it’s still there,” Walker replied when asked if racism was still an issue in the sport.

“I have to be careful with what I say. While I didn’t hear the words, the impact is still there.

“While I didn’t hear what was said, I still had to have conversations with my young boys who are 10 and 12 about nasty things that are being said from fans.

“While I wasn’t around, the impact’s still around and it’s devastating for my boys to have to go through that as young as 10 and 12.

“There’s an issue in society more than in the game – that’s my opinion – so something needs to be done about that. Hopefully the NRL are doing what they can to support getting rid of racism moving forward.”

Walker wants schools to teach children about Indigenous issues from the past. Picture: NRL Imagery
Walker wants schools to teach children about Indigenous issues from the past. Picture: NRL Imagery

While there is a greater understanding of the past these days, Australia still has a long way to go when it comes to learning about its history.

Walker says that some of those conversations are going to be difficult given the atrocities that occurred, but says it’s important that children are taught from a young age about this country’s history.

“At the moment we have supporters who all want to learn more so it’s important that we educate them all from a young age to give our children better futures and a better understanding of what’s gone on,” he said.

“It’s obviously very heartbreaking and sad what’s gone on, but we can’t hide from the fact what’s gone on. We have to educate ourselves on it.

“They’re starting to put that in schools which is wonderful, and I hope they can build on that and improve on that in years to come.”