May fights for future as NRL fines trio

Three Penrith stars have been sanctioned for their behaviour during NRL grand final celebrations.
Three Penrith stars have been sanctioned for their behaviour during NRL grand final celebrations.

The future of Penrith utility Tyrone May will come under scrutiny at a Panthers board meeting after he was stood down by the club and received a $7500 NRL fine for a social media post following the Panthers' grand final celebrations.

May, 25, was one of a trio of Panthers stars hit with breach notices and fines for "acting contrary to the best interests of the game" after Penrith's grand final win over South Sydney.

Halfback Nathan Cleary and outside back Stephen Crichton were also handed fines of $7000 and $4000 respectively after video emerged of them acting in a "disrespectful manner" towards the premiership trophy.

Damage was sustained to the trophy, while the figurine of Norm Provan and Arthur Summons had been separated and placed in a stroller in one video.

Penrith have stood down May as a consequence of a social media post which made reference to his convictions over four counts of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent.

The Penrith board will meet next week.

May, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and narrowly avoided jail in January 2020.

At the time Magistrate Robyn Denes said: "This behaviour is not only morally reprehensible, it's criminal."

The since-deleted post included photos of Panthers coach Ivan Cleary arriving alongside him at court during the case.

It also contained lyrics from the rap artist Drake which included the line: "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 missed all of the 2019 season after being stood down by the NRL and was served with a breach notice by the game's authorities on Tuesday.

Panthers chief executive Brian Fletcher said the club, which will be forced to foot the bill for the trophy repairs, apologised for the behaviour of Cleary and Crichton.

"The Panthers players had no intention to show disrespect towards the trophy, Norm Provan or Arthur Summons, however they understand that's how their actions may have been interpreted," he said in a statement.

"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."

All three players have five days to respond to the NRL's sanctions.

Australian Associated Press