NRL: Latrell Mitchell slams booing fans who have gone too far

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Latrell Mitchell has hit out at Roosters fans who relentlessly booed him last Friday, reminding spectators that Sydney Swans legend Adam Goodes retired early from the AFL after he was constantly abused by people in the stands.

The South Sydney superstar won two premierships when he was at the Roosters but you wouldn’t have known that after he was booed every time he touched the ball, with supporters taking great pleasure when he was sent to the sin bin late in the game.

Mitchell has called out trolls in the past on social media, and while this is very different, he says it could become an issue for some players like Melbourne’s Nelson Asofa-Solomona if fans continue to target them.

“It’s a bit disappointing. Once or twice or when I’m kicking goals, then definitely (it’s OK),” Mitchell said of the abuse he copped at the opening of Allianz Stadium.

Mitchell has called out trolls in the past on social media, and while this is very different, he says it could become an issue for some players like Melbourne’s Nelson Asofa-Solomona if fans continue to target them.

“It’s a bit disappointing. Once or twice or when I’m kicking goals, then definitely (it’s OK),” Mitchell said of the abuse he copped at the opening of Allianz Stadium.

“But every run was a bit disappointing.

“You see with big Nelson with the Parramatta supporters, it’s f—ing sh*t, to be honest.

“Adam Goodes gave up his career because of it.

“It’s not nice because we cop it every day as it is, and regardless of what happens on the field, it stays on the field. They have control over what they do off (the field) when they come watch a game.

“They can be passionate, but there are different ways on the spectrum of that.

“It’s expected. It’s warranted. I did what I did for them but now the tide has turned.”

Mitchell said he expected the boos last week and knows they’ll continue on Sunday when the two teams go at it again in an elimination final.

It’s similar to what Goodes experienced around the country that led to him retiring earlier than expected in 2015.

He stressed his situation was different to what Goodes went through and that his career wasn’t in jeopardy. He also conceded there was a “100 per cent chance” the heckling would continue just because of who he is.

“Not for me,” he replied when asked if he thought the Goodes scenario could repeat in the NRL.

“It doesn’t worry me. I’m just saying it’s disappointing to see it week in, week out on different players.

“Melbourne aren’t a very welcomed team anywhere because of the success they’ve had (so that’s why Nelson cops it).

“I think it comes down to me being who I am. I’ll just cop what I cop.

“I didn’t cop it in Origin. It was more of a neutral thing when Queensland and NSW were going at it, but you just know it’s more of a personal hit when they’re going at me.

“It’s just their (Roosters fans) passion, but there are different ways of showing passion. I can’t change what happens. All I can control is what happens on the field.”

Controlling what happens on the field is something Mitchell will need to focus on after he was bashed out of the contest by the Roosters on Friday night.

The fullback was met by three or four defenders every time he touched the ball and at one stage ran 50m across field before he was dragged back into the in-goal by sparring partners Joseph Manu and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

Mitchell was restricted to just 88m from his 14 carries but is confident the Bunnies can bounce back after they cruised in “third gear” while the Roosters were rolling at “fifth or sixth gear”.

“I knew they were coming after me, but it felt good,” he said.

“I ran at him (Waerea-Hargreaves) because he’s the big dog and the big alpha.

“I used to do it training all the time when I was over there. We didn’t show up in the first 20-40 minutes, but in the second half we showed who we are.

“I remember playing with them and they used to do a target thing on certain players. I definitely felt it. It’s a credit to them because anything I tried to do, they shut it down. I actually enjoyed getting bashed around a bit.”

Stopping Mitchell on Sunday could help the Roosters knock out their main rivals, but skipper James Tedesco insists there was nothing personal about last week’s tactics.

He said there wasn’t a ploy to cut the head off the snake and they were simply trying to limit the impact of one of the competition’s most explosive players.

“It’s definitely not personal,” Tedesco told the NCA NewsWire.

“Latrell is their main player. When he’s on and he’s got time and space, he’s probably one of the most creative players in the game. We had to shut that down.

“We know it’s not going to come easy this week because he’s going to come out fired up.”

Originally published as ‘Adam Goodes gave up his career because of it’: Latrell Mitchell slams booing fans


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