NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo has said he will take a hardline stance against racism after another rugby league player was racially vilified by a fan.

The incident involving South Sydney fullback Latrell Mitchell occurred as the players left the field at half-time in the Thursday night match, and a teenage boy called out a slur from the crowd.

Officials at BlueBet Stadium quickly ejected the boy and the NRL began an investigation.

In a statement after the match Abdo said: “Any form of racism or vilification will not be tolerated in our sport. We will not accept this behaviour from anyone.”

Mitchell, who did not do any post-match interviews, refused to talk about the incident and has since not spoken on the issue.

“It is inconceivable that we are talking about racism again in 2023,” South Sydney’s CEO Blake Solley said.

Penrith, Souths and the NRL integrity unit are currently working with police to investigate the incident, and Abdo would not say what penalty the teenager might face.

Rabbitohs head coach Jason Demetriou has also made calls for life-bans on fans engaging in hateful speech, after condemning the incident during the post-match conference.

“Latrell is a strong, proud Biripi man. He stands up for himself, his teammates, his club, his family and his people,” Demetriou said in a post-match conference. “This should never be discouraged by the actions of some people with archaic views.”

Several NRL players were on social media the following day speaking in support of Mitchell, including Penrith players Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai and Brian To’o, as well as other fellow Indigenous players Nico Hynes and Daine Laurie.

Penrith Panthers released a statement shortly after the match saying they are currently working with the NRL on the investigation, and later said while the club will comply with police and the NRL it will not be making any further comment on the incident.

Main image screenshot courtesy the NRL.