AFL star Steven May suspended for alcohol-related feud with teammate

·3-min read
Pictured here, Melbourne Demons defender Steven May instructs teammates during an AFL game.
Steven May has copped a one-game suspension for breaching Melbourne's drinking protocols. Pic: Getty

The Melbourne Demons have suspended star defender Steven May after he breached alcohol protocols, before getting into an altercation with teammate Jake Melksham.

May has copped a one-game ban from the club, meaning he's been ruled out of the Queen's Birthday blockbuster against Collingwood at the MCG on Monday.

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The 30-year-old was not meant to be drinking as he was in concussion protocols, but after doing so at a dinner with teammates in Prahan on Sunday evening, he then got involved in a scuffle with Melksham at about 9pm.

May's latest indiscretion comes three years after the former Gold Coast skipper avoided a club sanction for drinking while injured.

Demons officials say the club was left with little choice but to sanction the defender by ruling him out of the big clash against the Magpies.

"Following a dinner on Sunday evening, Jake and Steven informed us of a scuffle that took place after a lighthearted disagreement between the pair escalated," Melbourne general manager of football performance Alan Richardson said in a statement.

"Both Jake and Steven had been drinking at dinner and are incredibly remorseful that things played out the way they did.

"Given Steven is still under the AFL concussion protocols from Round 11, he was aware that under club guidelines he should not have been drinking.

"The leadership group has recommended to impose a one-match ban on Steven, a decision which has been endorsed by the club's broader leadership. This will make him unavailable for both AFL and VFL selection."

Pictured left to right are Melbourne Demons teammates Steven May and Jake Melksham.
Melbourne Demons teammates Steven May and Jake Melksham were involved in a late night scuffle after dinner. Pic: Getty

Steven May 'extremely remorseful' about incident

The Demons have lost two games in a row, with May concussed against Fremantle and unavailable against Sydney.

Melbourne have desperately missed star defender May but said they needed to stick to their standards.

"Over the past three years, Steven has developed into one of our most important on-field leaders, and while the impact of not having him available for selection is significant, what is more significant to us is our culture and the commitment we have to live by our values," Richardson said.

"Steven is extremely remorseful and accepts his actions were completely out of step with the expectations the club and his teammates have of him.

"He accepts the sanction handed down and makes no excuse for his poor judgement."

In his first season at Melbourne in May 2019, May apologised to his teammates after he was spotted drinking at a pub while sidelined with a groin injury, but avoided suspension.

He had previously been criticised for turning up to pre-season unfit and had his 2019 season ruined by injuries, before becoming the Demons' defensive rock over the past three years.

May previously had his jaw broken by then-teammate Campbell Brown in an altercation at a Los Angeles nightclub in 2013.

Both the "extremely remorseful" May and Melksham will also complete community service.

with AAP

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