Two charged over alleged online racial abuse of Australian Mitchell

FILE PHOTO: South Sydney Rabbitohs Latrell Mitchell during a National Rugby League (NRL) match at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Australia, May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

(Reuters) - Australian police have charged two men with allegedly sending racially abusive messages on social media to South Sydney Rabbitohs full back Latrell Mitchell, local media reported on Friday.

The 23-year-old indigenous player informed the National Rugby League's Integrity Unit this week of numerous offensive and "racially charged" messages he had received on social media.

The matter was reported to the police, who on Friday charged two men with "using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence", local media said, adding that the two had been granted bail to appear in court next month.

Rabbitohs chief Blake Solly said he fully supported Mitchell's decision to involve the police.

"Racism is absolutely abhorrent and has no place in our game or society in general," Solly said in a statement. "Latrell has shown great courage in taking this position, and I would encourage other NRL players ... to do the same thing."

The NRL said they would continue to report racist online abuse of players to the authorities.

"Any fan who racially abuses or threatens our players will be referred to police," NRL chief Andrew Abdo said.

"I want to commend Latrell for the leadership role he is taking ... He is a leader in the fight against racism in our community."

Mitchell, the great-nephew of Evonne Goolagong Cawley, the first indigenous Australian to win a tennis Grand Slam singles title, is currently serving a four-week suspension for a high hit on Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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