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Steven May fined over 'disgraceful' AFL staging act

Melbourne defender Steven May has escaped with a fine for his "disgraceful" behaviour that drew a free kick under the AFL's dangerous-tackle rule.

And Port star Zak Butters has fallen foul of the match review officer yet again, but he won't have to front the tribunal this time around.

May was outstanding in the Demons' three-point win over North Melbourne on Saturday night, holding Nick Larkey goalless, but came under fire over the third-quarter incident.

Kangaroo Eddie Ford spun May around more than 360 degrees in a tackle before the pair went to ground, with the All-Australian backman landing on his shoulder.

May then pushed his own head into the turf and grabbed it as if he had been hurt.

He was awarded a free kick, and has subsequently been fined for staging by AFL match review officer Michael Christian.

May can accept a $1250 with an early plea, or risk copping a $1875 fine if he challenges it.

The incident comes amid a league-wide crackdown on head contact, with a huge focus on the effects of concussion in world sport.

Under AFL rules, "staging can include, but is not limited to, excessive exaggerating of contact in an unsportsmanlike manner".

It is a reportable offence because it may "affect umpires' decision-making, incite a melee and/or not be in the spirit of the game".

Players can be fined for staging, but former AFL match review panel member Nathan Burke wanted the league to take it further by suspending May for his "disgraceful" actions.

"I hope he (gets suspended) ... for embellishment. Staging, embellishment - whatever you want to call it," Burke said in commentary on ABC radio before the findings were handed down.

"The umpire paid a dangerous tackle (but) his head did not hit the ground, yet he laid there holding his head.

"This game's hard enough for these umpires, let alone (with) players doing that and making it difficult for them.

"So the AFL are going to have to whack him."

Australian Football Hall of Fame member Burke was joined by a host of former players in decrying May's actions.

"It's one of his more embarrassing moments on the field," Port Adelaide 300-gamer Kane Cornes said on Nine.

"His head went nowhere near the ground, and then he's thrown his head into the ground and grabbed his head to suck in a free kick."

In other MRP news, Butters can accept a $6250 fine for striking Brisbane's Jarrod Berry.

It comes less than a week after Butters had a one-match ban overturned for striking GWS star Tom Green off the ball.

Butters risks copping a $10,000 fine if he challenges his latest striking charge and loses.

Port midfielder Oliver Wines was fined for making careless contact with an umpire.

The AFL cashed in on the big melee in the North Melbourne-Melbourne game, with 11 players fined.

From the Demons, Judd Mcvee, Blake Howes, Harrison Petty, Jack Viney, Koltyn Tholstrup and Daniel Turner all copped fines.

Kangaroos Zac Fisher, Jackson Archer, Charlie Comben, Cameron Zurhaar and Paul Curtis were also hit in the hip pocket.