“Online bullying, cyber bullying, it only takes that one message for someone not as strong as me that can’t [handle] the criticism for them to go and do some self harm.
“Today I’m taking a stand on it and I want everyone out there to know they can’t stand up to it, too.
“I’ve copped this [abuse] all my life, ever since I was an eight-year-old kid. My ancestors before me have as well. Nothing is changing.
“I’ve always aired them [trolls] out on social media and given them air time, but I think that’s what they wanted a kick out of. I was wasting my energy doing that.
“I want to set up a process now with the NRL, RLPA and club, and obviously the police, to make the boys in the NRL feel comfortable enough if they receive these messages to call it out.
“I’m doing it for all of us players. I know everyone receives it, but nobody has the courage to stand up to it. I know they want to.
“I thought I’d put my hand up and take the [first hit-up] and lead the way.″
Mitchell took his complaints to Souths last week who contacted the NRL who then forwarded the abuse on to police. The arrests were made within five days.
Mitchell thanked the authorities for acting so swiftly.
“We have a job to play rugby league … if we need something in place for players to feel comfortable and bring this forward and for this to be rubbed out of the game, it’s a great way for the police to be able to do it,” Mitchell said.
“We as rugby league players are here to do a job, to enjoy ourselves and provide for our families. To receive all this hate, I know it comes with the game but it shouldn’t be in our game.”
Mitchell has led the way in speaking up for Indigenous issues in the game and said his off-field advocacy had not detracted from his ability to perform on the field.
“It hasn’t the last 12 months and it won’t the next 12 months,” “he said.
At one stage during the press conference, which was watched by plenty of Mitchell’s Souths teammates, an elderly lady walked past and yelled out: “We love you Latrell.”
Mitchell was suspended for four weeks last Tuesday at the NRL judiciary for making dangerous contact with the head of Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma, and will be free to return in round 11.