NRL launches investigation into racial abuse of Latrell Mitchell

The NRL Integrity Unit will launch an investigation into racist online abuse of Roosters star Latrell Mitchell as players speak out against social media trolls.

Mitchell was one of several players to be targeted via social media over the weekend, with CEO Todd Greenberg labelling derogatory comments about the Indigenous powerhouse as "disgusting".

NRL.com understands that should the culprit of Mitchell’s abuse be identified as a club member, they would face having their membership revoked along with being banned from attending NRL games.

"Racism must be called out in all its forms because the standard you walk past is the standard you accept," Greenberg said.

"I commend Latrell for doing just that. These comments are disgusting and have no place in our game.

"There is no place for any sort of abuse on social media towards our players or their families."

Mitchell posted a screenshot of a vile post on his Instagram after the Roosters' win over Canberra with the caption "it’s just a game of footy. There is not (sic) need for comments like this.

"Shit like this is disappointing. 2019 an (sic) nothing is changing."

Numerous players and NRL identities shared Mitchell's post, including Wade Graham and Joel Thompson, who called for a wider community response to stamp out racial abuse.

"It burns, it really hurts to see comments like that," Thompson told NRL.com.

"It's just not good enough. I retweeted it and I was just hurt by what was said to Latrell. It needs to stop.

"It brings up deep hurt that the racism has happened to his parents, to his grandparents, to our people over time.

"It brings up different emotions and you would think in 2019 it would stop but unfortunately it hasn't.

"I hope the bloke that put that message out there needs to be held accountable. I hope that his boss or his family hold him accountable.

"He needs to be rubbed out of the game if he's involved at any club."

Meanwhile North Queensland's Josh McGuire and Wests Tigers' Paul Momirovski were also subjected to online abuse following matches played last weekend.

McGuire's wife Tanyssa took to Instagram claiming her husband had been bombarded with "death threat upon death threat" following his three-game suspension for making unnecessary contact with the face of Brisbane's David Fifita.

The Cowboys enforcer has since sought extra mental health support from North Queensland officials.

Momirovski meanwhile has copped it for missing a critical conversion attempt in the Tigers' shock loss to Canterbury, with Bulldogs players immediately moving to console the young Tigers centre at fulltime.

The RLPA, in conjunction with NRL and club welfare programs, have stepped up social media for training in recent years, with specific strategies to flag and build resilience to personal abuse.

Players' Union boss Ian Prendergast encouraged the practice of calling out keyboard warriors in a public forum and called on fans to consider the impact comments have on players' families as well.

"We've seen recently, particularly in social media, that people overstep the mark and I think it's about time that more people are held accountable for their conduct because it can be really damaging," Prendergast said.

"These players are people and they've got families, and we need to do what we can to protect their well-being and their mental health.

"We've received calls from players' partners who have talked about the impact it has on them and the people around players when this type of abuse surfaces.

"We'd encourage people to consider the impact a comment like that can have, not only on the players, but their families too."