Two men on the NSW Mid North Coast were charged after allegedly posting racially abusive social media messages to Rabbitoh star Latrell Mitchell.
Fixed Individual Investigators detectives today indicted Taree, 22, and Luke Munmorah, 25, after the Engagement and Hate Crime Division and Fixed Individual Investigative Unit opened an investigation earlier this week.
The NRL Integrity Unit had reported that one of its players had received numerous offensive and threatening social media messages – some of which were racially accused, NSW police said in a statement on Friday.
After « extensive investigations », the two perpetrators were arrested today. The police have confiscated electronic equipment that is undergoing a forensic examination.
The couple were taken to local police stations and each charged with using the transportation service to threaten, harass or cause crime.
Both men were given strict conditional bail, with the younger man due to appear in Taree District Court on Tuesday, May 18, and the older man in Wyong District Court on Wednesday, May 12.
It’s not the first time the 23-year-old defender has been the target of derogatory messages from strangers on social media. He told The Daily Telegraphlast that he was considering leaving the NRL after being bombarded with shameful news in 2019.
Below the messages was a picture of a canister that said, « Did you find a photo of your best buddy that you thought you might want? »
« I thought, why don’t I just get a nine-for-five job and not be in the limelight? »
Comparing the situation to AFL legend Adam Goodes, who experienced a spate of relentless abuse that eventually led to his resignation, Mitchell said: « There’s only so much a player can take before it’s enough. »
« It is very disappointing for him to stand up for what he believes in and then get booed and he had no choice. It affected his ability to play, » he said.
« Mental health is a big problem in the world right now, and indigenous men have the highest suicide rate in the world. So that’s crazy.
“I’ve had my demons and dark times with all that racism stuff. There’s only so much a person can endure before enough is enough.
« I thought if I give up now, I’ll give these people what they want – there are a lot of people who want me to fail and I’m not the type to give up. »
Mitchell said he hoped to change the treatment of indigenous players and said we all need to « hug ».
« I just want to be the best I can be, proud of who I am and not regret it, » he said.
« I want to play a role for black guys and non-indigenous peoples to unite and play the game we love and move forward. »
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