Cody Walker has praised the courage of fellow Indigenous star Tyrone Peachey for calling out what he believed to be a racial slur in an NRL game last weekend.
Ahead of South Sydney's elimination final clash with Newcastle, Walker said Peachey had shown bravery to speak up against another NRL player because it can be difficult to do.
Peachey accused Knights backrower Mitch Barnett of slinging a racial slur at him in last weekend's match on the Gold Coast.
Barnett denies the claim and the two have been forced by the NRL to attend a conciliation meeting as no evidence was found to confirm or deny the incident.
Walker is a proud Indigenous leader in the game and reached out to Peachey to show him support, but says he is comfortable the NRL has handled the matter as best as possible.
"There's obviously an investigation, there's not too much evidence, it's a 'he said, she said' type of situation so it's a hard one for the NRL to get to the bottom of it," Walker said.
"They're still going through a conciliation process.
"I messaged Tyrone to make sure that he had the full support of the playing group.
"I admire his courage in speaking about these sorts of things because I understand it could be difficult."
However, the 30-year-old Rabbitohs star feels society takes three steps forwards and two backwards in matters of racism.
Walker said he had heard reports of similar incidents at regional rugby league games in recent weeks, adding to his frustration.
"It's going to be hard to eliminate it but I feel like we're taking two or three steps forward, and then these sorts of things pop up and we knock it on the head straight away," he said.
"(It's about) education, making sure we understand how the player feels and how the racism is brought onto a player and the way they feel.
"The way we get rid of it, we just keep calling it out and knock it on the head."
It comes as Walker prepares to face the Knights in Sunday's elimination final at ANZ Stadium.
The Rabbitohs are fresh from a 60-8 mauling of Sydney Roosters, orchestrated by Walker's white-hot form.
It's the opposite lead-in for the Knights, who were thumped 36-6 by the Titans.
However, Walker knows better than to discount a side because of their recent form given Souths were handed a lesson from Canterbury the week before.
"We haven't been as consistent as we'd like, we've just got to start fast," Walker said of Sunday's match.
"We understand Knights are going to come out firing, with a lot of aggression, and we've just got to play our style of footy that we know we're capable of and the results will take care of itself."
Australian Associated Press