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Samoan Panthers pair fined

Penrith Panthers have stood down Samoan international Tyrone May from all club-related duties and appearances until further notice.

Samoa Penrith Panthers
Penrith Panthers. Source: Instagram

The serious matter that extends to breach notices from the NRL for not only May, but grand final heroes Stephen Crichton and Nathan Cleary over separate incidents is set to be dealt with at the upcoming meeting of the club’s board of directors.

Two of the breaches centre around the treatment the Panthers took of the NRL premiership trophy.

Cleary was fined $7000 and Crichton $4000 after photos had emerged on social media of the Clive Churchill Medalist and the matchwinning try scorer respectively showing disrespect to the trophy after reportedly breaking the famous award during a staff function and wheeling it around in a pram.

The NRL released a statement alluding that the breach notice was for “acting in a manner that showed disrespect towards the individuals depicted in the iconic moment memorialised by the trophy”.

The three-dimensional Gladiator prize was modelled on one of Australian rugby league’s most iconic moments when two St George and Western Suburbs players embraced, covered in mud, after the 1963 grand final.

One of the figures, Norm Provan, just died days ago, aged 88.

“The Panthers players had no intention to show disrespect towards the trophy, Norm Provan or Arthur Summons,” Panthers chief executive Brian Fletcher said in a statement.

“However, they understand that’s how their actions may have been interpreted.

“Everyone at Panthers is well aware of the immense contributions Norm and Arthur made to our game and the high esteem in which they are held by everyone involved in rugby league.

“On behalf of the club, I sincerely apologise for any offence or distress this matter may have caused the Rugby League community and particularly the Provan and Summons families.”

May could well have put his NRL career in jeopardy following his $7500 fine after a court had said he narrowly avoided a jail sentence before missing the 2019 season suspended.

The latest trouble stems from actions over a post-grand final social media post that referenced the 25-year-olds’s court case back in 2018.

He plead guilty to four charges of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent.

One of May’s victims sought a pecuniary settlement for damages earlier this year caused from being illegally filmed having sex.

A series of photos captioned to lyrics of Canadian rapper Drake were uploaded to May’s Instagram account on October 3 following Penrith’s 14-12 victory over South Sydney.

“And the dirt that they threw on my name/turned to soil and I grew up out it/time for y’all to figure out what y’all gon’ do about it,” May wrote with the picture with coach Ivan Cleary from the trial outside of the courthouse.

May restricted comments on the post to only his followers that included a defiant Crichton, the son of a Samoan preacher.

“They hate but then they all copy,” Crichton wrote back.

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