NRL 2024: Latrell Mitchell, Anthony Mundine, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Ezra Mam, Spencer Leniu, Broncos, Roosters

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Rugby league and boxing legend Anthony Mundine has admitted regret over his feud with Souths superstar Latrell Mitchell during the Spencer Leniu-Ezra Mam racism storm.

Mundine and Mitchell traded barbs in the media and on social media in the ugly fall-out from the racist taunt directed by Leniu at Mam in the season opener in Las Vegas.

Mundine posted a controversial video to social media in which he claimed “it ain’t racism” and told Mam to “toughen up” and “take it on the chin”.

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Mitchell hit back at Mundine in an Instagram post, saying “This what our people get told to do and continue to get told – ‘Be quiet fall in line’”.

Mundine then hit back at Mitchell with a personal tirade over his form labelling him an “underperformer” who should focus on playing well on the field before he speaks up.

However, Mundine revealed on Nine’s Today that he regrets the war of words with Mitchell.

“I felt a bit disrespected when he came at me,” Mundine said on Today.

“Thinking back now I probably should have just called him up and said ‘bra, what are you doing?’ – and vice versa, he should have (called) me.

“It feels a bit silly how it played out. I love the kid, I don’t want to break anybody’s confidence or whatever, I want the best for him.

“He can be one of the best players in the world.”

Mundine’s take on Leniu’s racial slur directed at Mam was surprising given he has been vocal in calling out racism in Australian sport and society throughout his career.

Mundine left the sport of rugby league because he believes he was overlooked for Australian representative honours because of his race.

“The reason I got out of rugby league is they never gave me my just dues, never gave me my No.6 Australian jersey,” Mundine told Today.

“Today they have other (Indigenous) brothers supporting each other. I was by myself, one out.

“It’s always going to be in society, it’s always going to be in sport, racism.

“You’re constantly putting out fires. You need to continue to fight, we need to continue to educate the current crop and the next generation. Education is the key.”

Originally published as ‘Felt a bit disrespected’: Mundine backflips on Latrell feud as legend admits ‘love for the kid’

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