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The Roar


Shock twist in racism saga as Mam responds to Leniu's apology for monkey taunt

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8th March, 2024
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Ezra Mam has rebuffed an attempt from Spencer Leniu to meet in person and deliver an apology after the racism scandal that has engulfed the NRL since last weekend’s opening matches in Las Vegas.

According to NewsCorp, the Roosters prop offered to fly to Brisbane at his own expense ahead of Monday’s judiciary hearing in Sydney to meet with the Broncos five-eighth.

However, Mam – who is privately very angry about the incident – turned down the peace offering and instead was willing to front next week’s NRL judiciary to press his case further, though that will not be required given Leniu’s admission of guilt.

The Roosters had offered to help facilitate a meeting with the Broncos, but both Mam and his mother, an Indigenous elder, turned down any potential olive branch.

Notably, the Broncos’ statement on the issue released on Thursday afternoon merely acknowledged that Leniu had apologised, but did not state that Mam had accepted the apology.

“The Broncos acknowledge Spencer’s apology to Ezra and the importance of taking that step,” it read.

“There is no place for racism in our game or in our society.


“The club respects the NRL Judiciary process that is still to play out and we will make no further comment on that.

“Ezra’s wellbeing has been our primary concern from the start. He has been well-supported within our club and we will continue to focus on that in the time ahead.”

Speaking in the same article, Broncos assistant John Cartwright said the club were supporting their player and

“We haven’t got a problem with Ezra,” said the former Gold Coast Titans head coach.

“He is a very level-headed young kid. He’s dealt with it the way it had to be dealt with. The club’s dealt with it and it’s up to the NRL now.

“As a footballer, the best place to be is with your teammates. I love the way they all pulled together and the fact we’re all here together today (is great).

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 02: Spencer Leniu of the Roosters rusn the ball during the round one NRL match between Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos at Allegiant Stadium, on March 02, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Spencer Leniu in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

“As a footballer, in good times and bad times you want to be amongst your teammates.”

“He’s had plenty of support. He’s a great young kid, Ez. He’s very popular within the group. He will be fine.”

“I can’t comment on the Roosters player,” he added.

“I know we get plenty of education around the treatment of indigenous people in society. From my perspective, I’m fully aware of being inclusive and how people need to be treated.

“They have all pulled together as a group. They’ve done everything they can do.

“The club has handed a statement down. Ezra’s done his part and it’s up to the NRL authorities to look after it now.”