Leniu Calls Mam a Monkey

Leniu and Broncos involved in late-night hotel argument over ‘monkey’ slur as Rooster sent to judiciary.

Ezra Mam takes a stand against alleged onfield racist abuse in Las Vegas
Andrew Mathieson March 3, 2024

Ezra Mam has filed a complaint to match officials over allegedly being called a "monkey" on the field by rival Spencer Leniu in the NRL's Las Vegas opening round.

The Broncos had been penalised in the second half over an unrelated incident when Mam, a Kuku Yalanji man and Torres Strait Islander, came forward to accuse the new Sydney Roosters recruit of a direct racist slur.

The complaint from Mam appeared to come after players from the respective teams came together as several of the Roosters remonstrated over a prohibited aerial charge following a Brisbane long kick.

Referee Adam Gee soon after told captains Adam Reynolds and James Tedesco that Leniu had been put on report.

"Ezra has made a formal complaint that is racial in nature against Spencer," Gee told the two players.

"I haven't heard it, but the incident goes on report and it will be dealt with after. That's where it's left."

The audio suggests Mam tells Gee earlier "he called me a monkey" and an unknown teammate also repeats the same accusation.

Mam was visibly upset at the time and according to media reports he left the field for the locker rooms immediately after the 20-10 defeat where Broncos officials have said their star playmaker broke down into tears.

"He's pretty upset in there, but we'll leave that in the hands of the NRL to police and adjudicate on," Broncos coach Kevin Walters said in the press conference.

"We support Ezra and our player with everything around that.

"He's adamant. We'll leave it with the NRL. They're looking at it."

He appeared to look surprised by the accusation when Gee first told the backrower of the complaint.

Leniu, who came off the bench in Penrith's last three premiership sides, is of Samoan heritage.

After the second of the double-header matches, Leniu said he was not worried about the claims could lead to a suspension.

"It's all fun and games on the field," Leniu told Nine, one of the game broadcasters, after the final whistle.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson refused to be drawn into defending his player.

"I don't know what happened," Robinson said.

"Ezra is adamant, but that doesn't mean it's right. He made the complaint, it doesn't mean it's right.

"It will go through formal process as it should."

Both Reece Walsh and Reynolds rubbished Leniu's seeming suggestion that there's nothing in the on-field jibes during post-match interviews.

The post-script to the first of two NRL matches in the United States, as a part of a five-year deal, took the shine following Manly's earlier 36-24 win over South Sydney.

At the time of the 69th minute incident, Walsh was hit in the ribs off the ball and was left not moving in backplay, while his Indigenous teammate Kotoni Staggs was on the ground receiving treatment for suspected cramp from a Broncos trainer down 14-10.

The Roosters scored in the fourth minute through Joey Manu, and never gave up the lead for the rest of the match.

Walsh appeared to revive hope and a notable spark for his side in the 59th minute.

The Murri man set up a backline move that he finished to bring the Broncos within four points after Walsh's earlier loose pass had gifted Manu's initial try.

Walsh could be under investigation for the full back's try-stopping shoulder charge.

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Votes: 0


  • Some people would call him a coward if he did nothing?

    • Some cowards would call him a coward if he did nothing?

      FTFY Tad

      • Sorry Randy FTFY .?

        Simply throwing this up as lots of differing opinions depending from where you are coming from. Hoping it can help see how complicated things can be depending where we are all coming from.

        • FTFY Fixed That For You


          • Randy I feel so out of date. Just Googled FTFY out of interest..It actually is real. {Shakespeare would not be happy with the modern world}

            Use FTFY whenever you're providing assistance, making a counterpoint, or making corrections.

            • I often have to check acronyme Tad, but YMMV.

  • This is an issue and is a bad look for the game out of all games. The NRL were selling a product to another country "Hey, come and watch our game, you will love it".

    For a country so hellbent on ending racism, having riots caused by racism. For them to see in papers and news the next day that a player directed a racial slur towards another player loses viewers and respect. Not from a lot perhaps but even if it is 5% of new viewers, 5% too many when trying to get as many supporters as possible. If Americans do not support due to just not liking the game then so be it but i would rather that than them leave due to a racial comment in game.

    • I have seen Aus reporting on this a lot

      I have seen english reporting on this a little

      I have seen NO American reporting. Zero fucks given about the whole shebang

      We are drinking our own koolaid


      • There is a bigger picture for you to analyse other than Jonestown Randy......... how you want to accept that is subjective.

        Personally I thought it was a great promotion as a season opener and the public relations are nothing but positive for the game. Any bonuses we get out of the US market are exactly that and Vlandys by his own admission is chasing the gaming dollars...... the absence of US interest would seem to be counteracted this morning when the Chairman of the San Francisco 49's stated he may be interested in taking an equity position in an NRL team?

        The events people from the NSW Govt were there and you can imagine how jealous some of the other codes "could" be and then we have the tourism in both directions.... ie what stops a US Travel agent selling a NRL event at/in an Australian Tour??

      • I'm glad for that!

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