Cody Walker in sad revelation about family after NRL racism storm with Latrell Mitchell

The Souths players were caught up in a disturbing incident that saw two NRL fans banned.

Cody Walker says it's obvious there are "issues in society" around racism after revealing the tough conversation he had to have with his two kids over a recent racism storm involving teammate, Latrell Mitchell. The Souths pair were reportedly subjected to racist abuse by fans during the round 10 loss to the Dragons in the NRL earlier this month.

Two patrons were identified and banned indefinitely after the NRL and NSW Police launched an investigation into the incident. The disturbing drama came to light after a concerned patron at the game called out the spectators for racially abusing the Rabbitohs stars, with details of the complaint contained in a letter obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald.

On the left is Cody Walker with one of his sons and with teammate, Latrell Mitchell on right.
Cody Walker said he had to have a tough conversation with his two sons after a recent NRL racism storm involving he and teammate, Latrell Mitchell. Pic: Getty

It comes after superstar fullback Mitchell was also racially abused by a fan at a match against Penrith last year. The NRL is celebrating Indigenous Round this week, as the game shines a light on Australia's First Nations' peoples, their unique culture and the impact that Indigenous Australians have had on the sport.

Walker says the special round means a lot to Indigenous players like himself and Mitchell but admits the recent events from the Dragons game shows the country has a long way to go to stamping out racism and embracing the Indigenous culture. And the Rabbitohs five-eighth revealed it was "devastating" to have to speak with his two young boys and explain the latest racism controversy to them.


“It’s obvious that it’s still there,” Walker said when asked whether racism was still an issue in the sport. “I have to be careful with what I say. While I didn’t hear the words, the impact is still there," he said in reference to the incident at the Dragons game.

“While I didn’t hear what was said, I still had to have conversations with my young boys who are 10 and 12 about nasty things that are being said from fans. While I wasn’t around, the impact’s still around and it’s devastating for my boys to have to go through that as young as 10 and 12.

“There’s an issue in society more than in the game – that’s my opinion – so something needs to be done about that. Hopefully the NRL are doing what they can to support getting rid of racism moving forward.” Walker says Indigenous Round is an important tool to help educate people about the history of Australia's First Nation's people and the many hardships they've been forced to endure for a long time.

“At the moment we have supporters who all want to learn more so it’s important that we educate them all from a young age to give our children better futures and a better understanding of what’s gone on,” he said. It’s obviously very heartbreaking and sad what’s gone on, but we can’t hide from the fact what’s gone on. We have to educate ourselves on it. They’re starting to put that in schools which is wonderful, and I hope they can build on that and improve on that in years to come.”

Walker's comments come after his teammate Mitchell was once again booed by fans for no particular reason during South Sydney's loss to the Cowboys in Magic Round. The boos were particularly noticeable on Mitchell's first carry of the game, and continued every time he touched the ball in the first 20 minutes. TV viewers were taken aback by the ugly scenes, particularly considering the game was played in somewhat of a neutral venue.

Seen here, Latrell Mitchell playing against the Cowboys in the NRL.
Latrell Mitchell was booed every time he touched the ball in the opening stages of the Rabbitohs' clash with the Cowboys. Image: Getty/Channel 9

Fans are getting used to Mitchell being booed at the home ground of opposing teams, but the fact he was booed at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night seemed to add to the disturbing nature of the situation. Mitchell cops plenty of hate when he does something illegal on the field, but the fact he was booed from the get-go on Saturday night should tell NRL officials it's time to take action. The ugly situation has been likened to that of Adam Goodes, with the Sydney Swans champion booed out of the game in 2015 because he took a stand against racism.