Wighton tired of talking about Latrell and Cody racism as Souths star confirms that he will not play Origin


A frustrated Jack Wighton is tired of talking about racism, after teammates Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker again allegedly copped abuse during an NRL game.

He also confirmed that he will not represent New South Wales in State of Origin despite clamours for him to walk back his rep retirement, telling media that he wanted to give his full attention to South Sydney after their poor start to the year.

“If I can keep my body a little fresher by [staying out] of that representative arena, I’m a better chance of doing that,” he said.

“I have a good relationship with ‘Madge’ [Maguire]. I had him down in Canberra. We can talk like mates.

“We had a few chats here and there. At times [I was close to making myself available].

“There are still a lot of great players, a lot of young, fresh kids. I feel like I’ve done my time, and I’m only getting older – these kids coming through are getting fitter and stronger and bigger and faster. Throw them in there and give them a go. Madge understands.”

The league is looking into claims Mitchell and Walker have become targets of racial abuse, after a crowd member allegedly vilified the Rabbitohs duo during Saturday’s loss to St George Illawarra.

A fan, who submitted a report to the league, claimed a man repeatedly aimed racial taunts at the pair during the match, but was able to leave the ground without being pulled up by security.

It is far from the first time Mitchell, a vocal spokesman on Indigenous matters, has been racially targeted.

Wighton, a Wiradjuri man and close friend of Mitchell, expressed his frustrations at the continual abuse.

“It’s crazy. We shouldn’t be having this conversation right now and we are, and it’s sad,” Wighton said on Tuesday.

“That’s just stupidity. It’s going to go nowhere, and it’s going to get people nowhere. We’re still having this conversation. It’s a hard one.”

The 2020 Dally M winner, who will play his 250th game in Magic Round, remained tight-lipped about how Mitchell and Walker were faring after the alleged incident. 

“It’s all getting sorted out and something I won’t comment on too much,” he said.

“Whatever is found out, if it becomes true, whatever or whoever it is, hopefully the people make the right decisions and do what they have to.

“It’s definitely not tolerated in the game and something we wish wasn’t here.”

Mitchell was returning from suspension, while Walker, a Bundjalung and Yuin man, was playing his 200th NRL game when the alleged abuse occurred.

“He (Mitchell) is one of the main reasons I came here. I just want to see him smile and play good footy,” Wighton said.

“It was really good to have him back on the field. He’s a key member of the team and we love playing with him. I love playing with him.”

Mitchell has frequently called out racism on social media, and has recently been subjected to extensive boos from fans at matches.

A teenager received a formal warning from NSW Police and a ban from the league last year for abusing the star fullback as he walked off the field at Penrith.

With AAP

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