New vision has emerged of the moment the Rabbitohs players heard and reacted to the racist slur aimed at star fullback Latrell Mitchell.
An NRL fan was removed from Penrith’s BlueBet Stadium after a racial slur was aimed at South Sydney fullback Latrell Mitchell.
The incident happened as the sides came from the field at halftime and The Daily Telegraph reported that the fan was removed from the stadium during the halftime break.
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Mitchell was allegedly called a “black dog” by a fan, with the player and several of his team mates hearing the slur as they walked into the tunnel.
The alleged offender is reported to be a teenager who was wearing an NRL jersey – and they were neither a Rabbitohs or Panthers fan.
Fox Sports’ Lara Pitt revealed it may have been more than one fan as security and police investigated the issue.
“I saw an incident at halftime in the tunnels as Souths players made their way to the sheds … the alleged fans involved in this have left the ground,” Lara Pitt said on Fox League.
After the match, Souths coach Jason Demetriou said Mitchell shows his character every week and “shows the quality person he is”.
But the coach was furious about the horrific incident.
“It’s not a claim, it actually happened,” Demetriou fumed in the press conference.
“It’s not the first time we’ve come here and our players have been racially abused. Where does it end? It’s just not on.
“I shouldn’t have to come here as a coach and lead a group of players in here to be racially abused. It’s not what our game’s about and we have to stamp it out completely. NRL, clubs, they have to get rid of it. Life bans. Anyone who wants to racially abuse, get them out of the game. We don’t want their support. It’s got to end.”
Asked how Latrell reacted, he said: “He’s sick of it. Why wouldn’t he be? He should be able to come here as a star of our game and not get racially abused. Who cares what colour he is? It’s just not on. I don’t understand how that happens in our day and age. I can’t get my head around how a young kid thinks that’s the language to be used. I don’t care what jersey he’s wearing, get them out of the game.
“This is not something Latrell has only had to deal with on the footy field, this is something he’s had to deal with his whole life. All Indigenous people do. I just can’t get my head around it, I don’t understand in Australia how anyone’s raised like that.
“Where as a game to do we say ‘no, no, it’s not happening.’ There has to be hard and fast rules that if anyone goes even close to being racial, they are completely ruled out of our game. And if it’s a kid, rule his parent out as well.
“If it was my child, I’d be absolutely ashamed, embarrassed that my child had even thought to speak like that.”
Demetriou praised security and the police for identifying the culprit before insisting the incident would be followed up.
“We’ll go all the way, as far as we can with it,” he said.
“As a club, we’ll stand right behind Latrell and it’s just not on. As far as I’m concerned, we’ll take it as far as we can take it.”
Demitriou said Mitchell and the club would deal with it but: “He shouldn’t have to.”
It cames as the Rabbitohs and Panthers renewed their rivalry, which has been forged in finals matches over the past two seasons.
The Panthers defeated the Rabbitohs in the 2021 Grand Final and 2022 preliminary final over the past two seasons, on Penrith’s way to back-to-back Premierships.
Mitchell has been the chief sledger all week, claiming there were “a few cracks in the windscreen” after the premiers’ round one loss.
“I think there’s a few cracks in the windscreen,” Mitchell told Nine News.
“So I think we can exploit them and go from there.”
The Panthers promised it hadn’t effected them all week but it was revealed early in Fox Sports’ coverage that the video had been replayed several times during the week.
The Panthers looked to bounce back from an opening round loss to the Broncos and the World Club Challenge loss to St Helens, both at BlueBet Stadium.
The unsavoury moment overshadowed a classic finish between the teams as the Panthers claimed a 16-10 win.
But the Panthers led 10-0 at the halftime break and extended the lead to 16-0 after the break.
A controversial try was awarded to the Rabbitohs by the Bunker as fans booed after it appeared to be passed off the ground by Michael Chee Kam.
The four points stood regardless and the Rabbitohs hit back when Isaiah Tass won the race to the ball with two minutes remaining.
It left it a converted try difference with essentially one set of six remaining but Dylan Edwards sealed the game when he knocked a grubber dead in goal.