Souths teammates stand united behind Mitchell
South Sydney prop Tom Burgess says Latrell Mitchell won't be silenced as the Rabbitohs star prepares to take to the field for the first time since being racially abused.
Mitchell trained separately from the main group at Redfern Oval on Monday as NSW Police continue to investigate the racial slur that was aimed at the fullback during Thursday's loss to Penrith.
The 25-year-old sported socks with the Indigenous flag on them and kicked goals with local kids as his teammates were put through their paces ahead of this Friday's derby against the Sydney Roosters.
Burgess said the responsibility to call out abuse was not only incumbent on those targeted by racial slurs.
"He's dealt with it and called it out and it's not about Latrell really, it's about the whole community and what it stands for," Burgess said.
"If we stand for that, then we're just as bad.
"It's about all standing up together and calling it out (for everyone) who has been discriminated against.
"Good on Latrell for standing up for what he believes in, and we all believe in that too.
"He's a big role model for his culture and his people and he's really strong in that sense."
The English prop said others would take courage from Mitchell's ability to call out racist abuse.
"He gives inspiration to people out in the country 11 hours away; they're finding strength from what Latrell did," Burgess said.
"The waves of what he does, those travel massively.
"He's got to keep being Latrell and we will be there to support him."
Some of the people Burgess referenced are closer to home.
Souths prop Junior Tatola, who is of Tongan descent, said Mitchell's actions had brought the Rabbitohs squad closer together.
"Everyone is beside him," Tatola said.
"We're in 2023 and it's still happening and it's not just happening to Latrell.
"My nephew, he's in kindergarten and he's getting racially abused.
"They're only kids but they're learning it from somewhere. It's got to stop. It makes me furious how it's still happening."