The Kangaroos centre was the target of vile racists abuse on social media during a turbulent end to his career at the Roosters and his well-publicised switch to arch rivals South Sydney.
Ahead of the Rabbitohs Indigenous Round clash with the Dragons, Mitchell revealed the torment he experienced, which almost drove him out of the sport he loves.
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“I thought, why don’t I just go get a nine-to-five job and not be in the spotlight?
“Adam Goodes retired in a disappointing way, getting booed every game. There’s only so much a player can take before it’s enough.
“For him to stand up for what he believes in, and then get booed off, is very disappointing, and he had no choice. It affected his ability to play.”
Mitchell highlighted the sobering statistics surrounding Indigenous suicide in attempt to shed light on the racism that haunts his people’s everyday lives.
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“Mental health is a major issue in the world at the moment, and Indigenous men have the highest suicide rate in the world, so that’s crazy,” Mitchell said.
“I’ve had my demons and dark times with all this racism stuff. There’s only so much a person can take before enough is enough.
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“I thought if I give up now, I’m giving these people what they want – there are a lot of people who want me to fail, and I’m not the type of person to give up.”
Mitchell revealed the history of racism in his life and sporting career, which he remembers goes as far back as his days as a junior rugby league player in his hometown of Taree.
“My dad said, ‘Take your shirt off, let’s go, we’re not playing in this game’. I was eight years old, it was an Australian lady that said that to me,” Mitchell said.
“Racism isn’t just a topic for this week, Black Lives Matter isn’t just a trend, this is something that’s happened all my life.”
For support and information about suicide prevention contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
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Latrell Mitchell, South Sydney Rabbitohs, National Rugby League, Sydney Roosters, St. George Illawarra Dragons
World news – AU – ‘I was that close to giving up’: Latrell Mitchell reveals racist abuse that nearly caused him to quit NRL