- Latrell Mitchell won big award at Dally Ms
- Savaged by fans for not sending a video
- Star sent video but it was wrong format
Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell has been smashed by footy fans for not recording a speech to accept the 2023 Ken Stephen Medal at the Dally Ms – but they could not have been more wrong.
Mitchell won the prestigious Ken Stephen Medal, which is given to players who achieve big things on the pitch, but also go above and beyond in the community with charity work and youth development.
‘Latrell is an incredible player, inspirational person and wonderful leader in the game,’ NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said during Wednesday night’s ceremony.
‘Latrell has helped rural towns rebuild after a natural disaster, campaigned against online bullying, become a mental health ambassador of the Goanna Academy.
‘He dedicates his all to the community and has made a positive impact on many people’s lives.’
Mitchell won the Ken Stephen Medal, which acknowledges his work both on and off the pitch
Some fans criticised the Souths star for not sending a video to the award ceremony as he was unable to attend – but they got their facts wrong
Mitchell has also helped juniors, Indigenous and female footy teams achieve their dreams by making discrete financial donations, without the pursuit of public accolade.
He has also taken part in leadership and cultural efforts, including the Nanga Mai Marri (Dream Big) program, Deadly Youth Mentoring Program and the Liverpool Opportunity Hub.
Mitchell wasn’t at the Dally Ms, like many other footy stars, and appeared not to have sent a video message to the organisers, as other absent winners like Gold Coast NRLW coach Karyn Murphy did.
‘1m a year and can’t afford a phone to record a thank you message….. crazy,’ wrote one fan on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
‘No attendance and no video, is this acceptable or does it make a mockery of the award? Was he too busy at a youth night or something?,’ complained another.
‘I’m a massive Trell fan.. but surely he could have at least sent a video message like others who weren’t there and won awards tonight.. he is certainly a fantastic role model for the indigenous community.. they want to hear from him,’ said a third.
News Corp revealed that Mitchell did in fact send a video message to be shown at the ceremony, but it wasn’t able to be used because it wasn’t broadcast quality and was ini the wrong format.
On Thursday morning, Mitchell acknowledged the award win on Instagram by posting an image of himself playing footy with some children, accompanied by the caption: ‘Never for myself, always for the kids.’
Earlier in the month the Bunnies No.1 was slammed for reportedly refusing to take a selfie with two young fans after happily signing a number of autographs at a junior rugby league day.
Mitchell has helped juniors, Indigenous and female footy teams with financial donations
Mitchell’s management later explained that Mitchell didn’t do selfies because it was his ‘day off’ and he was attending the event with his family.
The Souths star is the 35th winner of the Ken Stephen Medal, with a host of worthy recipients receiving the award since Wayne Pearce first won it in 1988.
Mitchell’s supporting charity and junior club will receive $3,500 as a result of him claiming the award, plus an additional $2,500 split between his junior club and supporting charity.