Demon star Steven May has reportedly confessed “how badly he behaved” while drinking alcohol in the aftermath of the AFL’s investigation into his fight with teammate Jake Melksham, according to veteran journalist Caroline Wilson.
The league confirmed Wednesday night that it had concluded its investigation into the incident at Melbourne restaurant Sirloin steak on June 5 and that no further action would be taken after May was given a one-match ban by the club for drinking while sidelined. faced a concussion while Melksham avoided suspension but had to undergo surgery twice on his injured hand.
According to reports, Melksham floored May after a utterance from the All-Australian defender to unleash the scuffle that spilled onto the outside of the Prahran eatery. May is believed to have told Melksham that the Demons would have lost the 2021 grand final if he had played.
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Speaking on Channel 9’s Footy classified on Wednesday night, Wilson provided further details of the AFL’s investigation into the matter, with both players being interviewed at length by the league’s integrity chiefs.
“What has come out of these interviews is that Steven May has gone on to fight in a huge way for Jake Melksham and confess how badly he behaves when he drinks. How uncontrollable he was that night,” she said. .
“And when it poured out, it’s my understanding that three players tried to stop Steven May – and couldn’t – when he went for Jake Melksham, whose blow the AFL isn’t happy, but they are content in self-defense.”
Despite the incident and May’s history of alcohol-related problems off the pitch, Demons president Kate Roffey has said the club will not ask the 30-year-old to stop drinking.
However, Wilson said Melbourne is “absolutely adamant that he himself will come to that realization”.
“He feels terrible about what happened and he just said to his club, ‘If this happens, I’m uncontrollable,'” she said.
“And I’m told that apparently Jake Melksham tried on half a dozen occasions to shake hands and say, ‘Come on mate, this is over’, but it just didn’t happen.
“I maintain that if you give someone a belt you should be suspended. But it just goes to show how terrifying Steven May was in that case.
“The way I think Steven May talked to some of his younger teammates was just completely unacceptable.”
It comes amid a three-game loss streak for the Demons, who were previously unbeaten this season and recently dropped 26 points from Collingwood in Monday’s box office smash hit to fall back to second on the ladder.
Former St Kilda and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon expressed concerns about how the altercation between May and Melksham could affect the culture of the demons.
“It goes a little deeper than that — he was in concussion protocols, he was with nine of his teammates who knew, they know how important they are, they know what they’re trying to do. And none of them had the courage to say: “Mate, we shouldn’t be doing this,” Lyon said.
“It also talks to when you’re winning, everyone thinks it’s Camelot, everything is perfect. But there’s a lot going on under the surface, and it’s not perfect because you win and there are constant challenges at AFL clubs.
“I’ve heard Leigh Matthews talk on the radio about his entire playing and coaching career that he’s never heard language use to humiliate a player (like May did), it’s significant. I think it’s not that simple like, ‘we’re all good mate, wink wink and so on.
“And I think you saw that over the weekend. I don’t think they were a great, passionate team over the weekend.”
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