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Cameron Murray and Cameron Smith have thrown their support behind Latrell Mitchell as the Indigenous superstar stands tall against online attacks.

Mitchell features prominently in the NRL's revamped Simply the Best ad campaign released earlier this week, shown standing in the ocean on his own proudly draped in an Aboriginal flag.

While the ad has an inclusive message – it also shows women's State of Origin players Vanessa Foliaki and Karina Brown kissing as well as men's players from a range of backgrounds – Mitchell's solo cameo has drawn the most debate.

"He's one of the better players in the game so he's an easy target," said Storm captain Smith, who is depicted in the ad as a young boy.

"Everyone knows who Latrell Mitchell is so people want to make headlines and get people reading their content [and] they use the big names.

"I think the NRL have done a great job with the inclusiveness of everyone. It sends a message that our game includes everyone.

"We're a game that is welcoming to all types of people of all different cultures and beliefs. I actually think they did a good job."

Latrell Mitchell in the 2020 NRL commercial.
Latrell Mitchell in the 2020 NRL commercial.

Fighting against trolls is nothing new for marquee Rabbitohs recruit Mitchell, who made a point last year to highlight the racial abuse he routinely cops on social media.

South Sydney teammate Murray commended Mitchell's role in the 2020 campaign.

"Obviously he's a very proud Aboriginal man and he's a great leader for him and his community," Murray said at the Telstra Premiership launch at The Venue on Thursday night.

"I thought it was a great ad all-round. It was great to bring back the Simply the Best campaign and revive that sort of campaign."

Smith, who was six years old when Tina Turner's classic The Best became rugby league's anthem in 1990, said the fresh campaign brought back fond memories.

"The best thing about it for me, when I saw the first five seconds when the little Cam Smith was in his lounge room, it actually took me back to when I was in my lounge room and I remember watching Tina Turner sing that song," Smith said.

"I was a massive Broncos fan at the time, they dominated during those times in the early '90s. I still remember Alfie [Langer] and Kevvie [Walters] grabbing Tina Turner after they'd won the [1993] grand final during the song bouncing up and down and she had no idea, she was just lip syncing something."

Murray, 22, wasn't alive to experience the impact of the original ad but the significance of its remake isn't lost on him.

"I think my first sort of memories as a kid was the That's My Team campaign when I was really, really young," the Blues and Kangaroos forward said.

"I remember how excited that used to make me feel, and I can only imagine how excited it would have made the kids and the generation coming through with the Simply the Best campaign when it first came out and how much hype there would have been around it.

"It's really exciting to be able to bring back that campaign and instill that excitement in the younger generation coming through, to know that they'll look back [on the new ad] and get excited for footy.

"It brings back that nostalgia of how good footy really is ... It's the best game on earth."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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