NRL bans two fans for racially abusing South Sydney players

The NRL has issued suspension notices to two fans for an “indefinite period” after South Sydney Rabbitohs club officials Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker were allegedly racially abused and branded “disgusting”.

Officials were investigating claims Mitchell and Walker were vilified during Saturday’s defeat to St George Illawarra in Kogarah.

A fan told officials that a man repeatedly directed racist insults at the pair during the game, but left the field without being spoken to by security.

On Wednesday, the NRL confirmed two fans had allegedly made “derogatory comments” and had five days to respond to the bans.

“Racism must be denounced in all its forms because the standard you pass is the standard you accept,” NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said

“Insulting behavior towards players will not be tolerated. I commend the fans who responded and brought this to our attention. With this information we were able to take action.

“Attending a rugby league game should be a positive, welcoming and respectful atmosphere for everyone. We want everyone to feel welcome and enjoy the experience.

“The Spectator Code of Conduct has been specifically designed to deal with such cases and we will continue to take action against any visitor who displays offensive or anti-social behavior.

“We have a strong system in place that allows us to address these types of comments quickly and decisively. The system also gives other viewers the confidence to report inappropriate comments, which in this case allowed us to take action.

“As a game we need to stand by our players and ensure they are treated with respect at all times. We will continue to protect players in their workplace.”

The pair’s South Sydney teammate Jack Wighton said it was “crazy” that such incidents were still happening.

“We shouldn’t be having this conversation right now, and we are, and it’s sad,” Wighton said Tuesday.

“It definitely won’t be tolerated in the game and we wish it wasn’t here.”

Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly described the abuse as “archaic, disgusting” and welcomed the bans.

“We applaud the members of the public who stood up and called out this disgraceful behavior. We hope more people will show the courage this person has shown to denounce racism and eradicate it from our society,” he said. .

“We thank the NRL, St George Illawarra Dragons and New South Wales Police for their efforts in this case. “We continue to support our players and their families, who unfortunately continue to face this type of behavior. Racism is archaic, abhorrent and will not be tolerated.

“We urge fans attending games to respect all players and their efforts on the field.”

Originally published as Two fans banned by NRL for racist abuse towards South Sydney players

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