NRL players must now follow in Latrell Mitchell's footsteps and call out any vile abuse from online trolls.
So say Sydney Roosters co-captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend, who applauded their high-profile teammate for doing just that on the weekend.
Latrell Mitchell takes to Instagram to post the shocking racist message sent to him by a troll.
Mitchell spent Tuesday in Taree undertaking cultural work with family and local indigenous elders while the NRL Integrity Unit continued their inquiries into the identity of the cowardly troll.
"That comment [on Sunday] was disgusting and I'm very proud of Latrell to stand up and call that out,'' Cordner said. "He's set a precedent now and it's important for all of us to take note and if we need to call more of those people out. It's sad to see it in society in this day and age.
"He's shown me some comments and I've seen comments he hasn't called out. It's shocking. To see him, a young man, he does not deserve that at all. Nobody does.
"The pressure footballers go through anyway with needing to win and playing well and eating healthy, then he has to deal with that … he's a proud man, he's proud of his culture, and that's the last thing he needs. Anyone who thinks it's OK to do that and hide behind a phone or a computer, it's not on.''
Friend said: "Latrell is a proud indigenous man and I prefer him to deal with it the way he wants and not hold on to it and having it fester.
"I know how much he’s working to close the racial gap. Personally, I thought for a young guy to say, ‘no, I’m not going to put up with this’ and put the bloke on show was a good thing.
"He cops plenty and it always comes with the territory. He’s a star of the game. You can cop stuff about your game, but you shouldn’t have to cop it about your race, or your family, or sexuality or anything like that.''
Mitchell was locked in a running battle with fiery Canberra Englishman John Bateman. While he produced an unbelievable three-try performance against the Wests Tigers earlier in the year, Mitchell's challenge has been being great every week.
"I thought the weekend was really good for Latrell, it was a tough game and a lot of hard work and runs out of our end,'' Friend said. "We all see Latrell’s freakishness and big plays, but all the little things he did in that game like shutting down Bateman and that edge out there was awesome.
"We want him to be playing that way at this time of the year. That was a good step for him.''
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