NRL news 2023, Latrell Mitchell racist abuser should not be rewarded with All Stars camp, Billy Slater says, exclusive


Billy Slater agrees any person found guilty of racial abuse in the NRL must undergo education, but is steadfast against one idea that has been floated.

The governing body continues to investigate allegations a 15-year-old yelled a racial slur at South Sydney superstar Latrell Mitchell during Thursday’s game in Penrith.

The spectator was identified and ejected from BlueBet Stadium by security during half time, while police spoke to other members of the crowd to gather information on the night.

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Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou delivered a strong message during his post-game press conference, calling for life bans for anyone using racist language, as well as their parents if the perpetrator is a child.

Over the weekend, Sharks star and proud indigenous man Nicho Hynes took a softer approach, suggesting the alleged abuser should be counselled and offered education, as well as the chance to enter the Indigenous All Stars camp next year.

Cricket legend Mark Taylor on Sunday called on the teenager to ”look (Mitchell) in the eye” and apologise.

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Slater, though, doesn’t think any such person should be given the chance to enter All Stars camp or speak to Mitchell.

“I think you have to have some sort of ban to make a stance, but also there has to be some kind of education for this person,” he told Wide World of Sports’ The Billy Slater Podcast.

Spectator ejected over Latrell abuse

“The only thing is I don’t like someone getting an opportunity to go into an All Stars camp, or go and meet Latrell Mitchell, just because they’ve done the wrong thing.

“Go out and learn it in another way. Don’t give them something everyone else wants to do, just because they’ve done the wrong thing.”

Slater wants parents and families to start the education process at home, rather than leave it to the NRL or clubs to deal with after the fact.

“I heard Johnathan Thurston and Nicho Hynes speak over the weekend… they both spoke about this is a learnt behaviour. You’re not born a racist,” he said.

Growing calls for life bans after latest Latrell abuse

“This is an environment you’ve been in, whether it be through your family, your parents, or the circles that you hang around, that’s where you pick this stuff up.

“I think it starts at home.

“This is the generational change that we need to occur.

“I think the NRL does a fantastic job of education about our First Nations people, and the culture of our country. I think the NRL is a real leader in that and we celebrate it.”

Slater wants the NRL to crack down on all spectator abuse of players, revealing “I hear abuse all the time” when he attends games.

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