Latrell Mitchell has shared a heartfelt message of support for journalist Stan Grant, stating that Grant is “not alone” in his fight against racial abuse. Mitchell delivered the message after Grant recently made an appearance at Blues training to speak with Indigenous leaders. Mitchell and fellow NSW player Josh Addo-Carr wore Indigenous training shirts during a recent training session in tribute to Grant. The journalist recently stood down from his role with the ABC following a backlash to his coverage of King Charles’s coronation.
The NSW Rugby League has used Grant for various programs and welcome to country ceremonies in recent years, and Mitchell and Addo-Carr have come to know him during that time. The pair paid tribute to Grant after one of their recent training sessions. Mitchell stated that he has “got [Grant’s] back” and that “everyone that knows him bleeds like him.” Mitchell has also pledged to continue speaking out against racism wherever he sees it. Earlier this year, he was racially abused by a teenage fan at a match against Penrith at BlueBet Stadium.
In response to Grant’s situation, ABC chair Ita Buttrose criticized the “abhorrent” and “unacceptable” use of social media by Australians. Mitchell praised Grant’s strength in taking a stance against racism, stating that it “just shows you how strong he is and how proud he is to be an Aboriginal man.” Addo-Carr added that, as an Indigenous person, he knows what Grant is going through and that “it’s nothing new.”
The Blues have been performing an Indigenous war cry at training in the lead-up to the State of Origin series opener, with coach Brad Fittler emphasizing the importance of players learning about one another’s cultures. Mitchell, Addo-Carr, and former Blue Jack Wighton, who retired from representative football earlier this year, were involved in designing the Indigenous training kit. The design was created by Indigenous artist Daren Dunn and features the artwork “Home Country.” The Blues will wear the kit for a training session before each of the three State of Origin games.
State of Origin can be watched exclusively live and free on Channel 9 and 9Now.