Stinging sledge that sparked teammates’ brawl

By Brett Graham and Emily Patterson

UPDATE: Melbourne has suspended star defender Steven May over an altercation with teammate Jake Melksham on Sunday night.

The sledged that sparked the brawl has since been revealed and the owner of the restaurant where the incident took place, Entrecote, has called for an apology.

The incident occurred just after 9pm in Prahran, an inner-city suburb of Melbourne.

“Following a dinner on Sunday evening, Jake and Steven informed us of a scuffle that took place after a light-hearted disagreement between the pair escalated,” the club said in a statement.

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“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 catalyst for the dust-up was a reported sledge from May about Melksham missing the 2021 grand final, which Melbourne won over the Western Bulldogs by 74 points.

Melksham was omitted from the Demons’ 22 for last year’s drought breaking premiership, serving as an emergency.

“If you had played in the (grand final) we would have lost,” May allegedly said.

It is claimed Melksham then flawed May with a punch in retaliation.

Entrecote has claimed the pair broke the venue’s reception desk during their altercation, and the restaurant is yet to receive an appropriate apology.

“BUT STILL NO APOLOGY TO MY STAFF OR THE RESTAURANT… disgraceful effort @stevenmay @melbournefc,” a post on the eaterie’s Instagram story read.

The page later shared another story which read, “Thanks for your lukewarm apology that is tantamount to ‘boys will be boys'”.

In a video on the club’s website, May expressed remorse for his behavior.

“It’s all about actions and what I do going forward and I know they’ll (Dees fans) be extremely disappointed,” he said.

The Demons are currently on top of the ladder despite losing their last two matches.

“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,” the club said.

“Steven and Jake will also complete community service through one of the club’s community partners to ensure they understand the responsibility and impact they have as role models within the community.

“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.”

May joined the Demons from the Suns in 2019, and was named in the All-Australian team in 2021.

“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 judgment,” the Demons said.

“We are proud of the culture we have built over the past few years and while we are disappointed with Steven’s behavior, we back in his character and will support him to ensure he is armed to make better decisions for himself and the football club moving forward .”

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