South Sydney and Penrith officials have spoken again this morning as the rugby league world continues to condemn the actions of a supporter at last night’s match at BlueBet Stadium.
Souths fullback Latrell Mitchell was allegedly the subject of a racist remark from a fan, believed to be wearing a Sydney Roosters jersey. The fan was ejected by stadium security.
The incident has overshadowed Penrith’s gutsy 16-10 win over South Sydney.
Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly confirmed he’d spoken with Penrith officials this morning as investigations continue.
“I’ve spoken with both (NRL CEO) Andrew Abdo and (Panthers CEO) Matt Cameron this morning and they have both said they condemn this activity and have given me the undertaking that they will investigate this completely and take the strongest action possible,” he said.
“I echo the words of our Head Coach Jason Demetriou from last night’s press conference. Racism cannot exist in our game, in our society, in any way, shape or form.
“This is a deeply disappointing situation, something that our players should never be subjected to, and we feel as a Club that the strongest possible action needs to be taken against the perpetrators.”
In a statement issued late last night, the Panthers said: “Penrith Panthers is aware of an alleged incident involving a rugby league fan that occurred at half-time of the Round 2 match against South Sydney Rabbitohs at BlueBet Stadium. The NRL was immediately informed of the alleged matter, and the club will work with the NRL to investigate the situation.”
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said it was “abhorrent” that players would be subject to vilification and abuse. He praised Panthers and Rabbitohs players for the way they handled the situation.
“Everybody deserves to be respected and everyone deserves to feel comfortable in our game,” he said.
“When issues like this happen, just know that we will deal with them and we will deal with them thoroughly.”
Abdo said a process was underway to “get to the bottom” of what happened, and what action would be taken.
“I commend the way the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers have responded to the situation,” Abdo said.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson was asked about the the incident at his scheduled press conference this morning.
“It’s just wrong, it’s just unacceptable and it shouldn’t be tolerated,” he said.
“We have to stamp it out. It’s not about teams and who someone plays for. This is a deeper issue.”
In relation to the supporter wearing a Roosters jersey, Robinson said: “It’s really disappointing. We just don’t represent the Roosters in that way. That’s not how we want to act. Whether we like it or not they were wearing our colours and we have to accept that.”
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.