Host reveals treatment of Latrell Mitchell star left him stunned

Jake Duke has interviewed dozens of incredible athletes, but one story about Latrell Mitchell stands out more than most.

Raised in an Indigenous family, Fox League presenter Jake Duke has interviewed some of Australia’s biggest sports personalities. He is more aware than most of the problems that First Nations people face.

Despite this, even he faltered when Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell shared stories about coping with racial abuse at Duke’s Refuse to lose podcasting.

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Original booked as a job interview in front of raw rabbits, which aired on Fox Sports ahead of last year’s NRL Indigenous round, Mitchell, a man from Birrbay and Wiradjuri, sat down with Duke to describe the abuse he endured both on and off the field – some of which came from of children.

“(That) your mom or dad is teaching you to go out of your way to say something like that to someone is outrageous,” Mitchell said at the time.

“The way I thought about people shouting out was a waste of energy after the first few, I just had enough and there’s a whole hate crime unit on the police force happy to help.

“It’s a culture problem, there are people who can teach black history. You just have to stop being ignorant about it and just embrace it.”

Duke told that he was sadly not surprised by Mitchell’s experience, but still thought the extent of the abuse was “unbelievable”.

“It’s hard to believe that people can still say those things even today … he just plays football, that’s his job,” he said.

Overcoming obstacles can bring real change

Refuse to lose has seen Duke sit with some of Australia’s hottest athletes to discuss the struggles and obstacles they’ve encountered on their journey to the top, with multiple Indigenous superstars including Greg Inglis, Ash Gardner and Patty Mills all appearing in various episodes. were on display.

With the AFL and NRL Native rounds taking placeDuke said this was an opportunity for sports fans to focus on the adversity facing First Nations communities.

“Whether it’s having a difficult upbringing, moving away from family, or having no family at all — it seems like a lot of these people have had tougher stories than most,” Duke said.

One example was Wests Tigers and former State of Origin player James Roberts, whom Duke grew up with and was also featured in the podcast’s pilot episode.

“He had a tough life growing up — he struggled with alcohol and drugs, moved from foster home to foster home, and even spent time in prison,” Duke said.

“His story has always stayed with me… he’s had discipline issues throughout his career, but I always think if people knew more about his life and what he’s been through, they’d realize he’s actually doing really well by comparison.

“(Indigenous Australians) have had a harder hand than a lot of people in this country, and they don’t always have a sport to help them out…these athletes are votes for them and the change we want to see.”

Duke, a man from Kamilaroi, said there was a misconception that much of the struggles faced by the indigenous people stems from a bygone era.

“There’s an idea that these ordeals facing Indigenous Australians were a long time ago… my father wasn’t allowed to go into the pool in Moree because of the color of his skin – that was a generation ago,” the Fox League presenter told the Fox League. news.

“There’s still a lot of scars and trauma and things that have been passed on.”

Importance of Indigenous Athletes Uncovered

Duke noted that, while not a cure for pre-existing inequalities, sport had played a huge role in educating Australians on issues affecting Indigenous communities, as well as the culture and history of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples. -Islands.

“If you can call me the five most famous Indigenous people in Australia, I think four of them are sports people,” he said.

“Because of the profile that sport gives people, Indigenous athletes are ultimately the most prominent people the community sees – if they’re not using their platform to raise awareness about these issues, then who’s going to do it if they don’t?

“(Sports) plays a huge role in advancing the cause of Indigenous people and spreading awareness – things like the Sir Doug Nicholls Round in the AFL are not just about celebrating the athletes, they are about… listening to what these people find important and what their story is.

“Even putting the country in the name of stadiums… those little little things, it’s all part of a big change.”

When asked to nominate a starting point of his podcast for new listeners, Duke suggested Episode 10, a conversation with NRL great Preston Campbell, who was instrumental in creating the popular All-Stars contest.

The clash, first held in 2010, features native athletes and traditionally opens the NRL season. The player who is judged best on the field will receive the Preston Campbell Medal.

Duke noted that Campbell’s mental health issues off the field were indicative of a much broader problem facing Indigenous communities.

“Campbell was at the top of his game, winning the Dally M Medal for Player of the Year in 2001… and six months later he tried to kill himself,” he said.

“His story resonates so much and is so applicable to the lives of so many indigenous people.

“We talk about financial and social disadvantage, but the effect that mental has on young Indigenous children is enormous.

“This is a big problem in Indigenous communities – the statistics on Aboriginal youth and how much more likely they are to take their lives is devastating.”

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