Penrith Panthers are investigating reports of alleged racial abuse of South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell

“Latrell is fed up. And why shouldn’t he be? He should be able to come here as the star of our game and not be racially abused.

“Who cares what color it is? It’s not on. I don’t understand how this is happening nowadays.

“I can’t contain myself [the fact] a young child thinks that’s the language to use. I don’t care what jersey he wears – leave them out of our game.

“Security and the club have done a great job of figuring out who it is. Now it’s with the police.

“[But] We’ll go all the way, we’ll go as far as we can. As an association, we stand directly behind Latrell. As far as I’m concerned, we’ll go as far as we can take.”

Mitchell returned in the second half as Souths came back from a 16-0 deficit before attempts from Alex Johnston and Isaiah Taas set up a thrilling final couple of minutes.

Mitchell was interviewed after the game, but only on the condition that he wasn’t asked about the halftime scenes.

He made headlines earlier in the week when he suggested there had been “cracks in the windscreen” at Penrith following the first-round loss to Brisbane stemming from the shock World Club Challenge loss to St Helens .

No one inspires Indigenous children more than Mitchell, who also leads the way in speaking out about racism and injustice.

Also in 2018, South’s great Greg Inglis was racially abused by a fan in Penrith.

Demetriou is close to Mitchell but didn’t say the constant abuse would force him out of the game early on.

“I’m just worried about Latrell or an Indigenous player in our organization … where as a game we’re like, ‘No, it’s not happening,'” Demetriou said.

“There must be hard and fast rules that completely shut anyone close to a race out of our game. If it’s a small child, it excludes its parents as well.

“If it were my child I would be absolutely ashamed, embarrassed that my child even thought to speak like that.”

An hour after the game, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo promised a full investigation.

“Any form of racism or defamation will not be tolerated in our sport,” Abdo said.

“We will not accept this behavior from anyone. We are working with the stadium and the club to get all the facts. The Integrity Office will investigate the case comprehensively. We will stand behind our players and commend them for speaking out about this behavior.” Penrith Panthers are investigating reports of alleged racial abuse of South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell

Ryan Sederquist

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