Melbourne Storm star Brandon Smith cut a devastated figure as he revealed his family has copped intense backlash over his involvement in the NRL’s latest scandal.
Smith, alongside Storm teammates Cameron Munster and Chris Lewis, appeared in a leaked video last Monday, with Smith depicted with a white powder in the footage.
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The videos emerged just hours before the second night of the Dally M Awards and also in the week leading up to the NRL Grand Final.
In a press conference on Tuesday, the 25-year-old hooker was deeply remorseful for his actions, but did not believe his family deserved to bear the brunt of any criticism directed their way.
“I know I let a lot of people down, especially my family,” Smith said
“I’m sorry for the criticism all of you guys have received throughout this over social media platforms.
Camera IconBrandon Smith was one of three Storm players to appear in leaked videos. Supplied Credit: Supplied
“This is probably the hardest thing I’ll have to deal with, because I know that my actions don’t reflect how I was raised as a kid and I just don’t think they deserve to cop any of it.
“I know that I’m a good person with good intentions and a good heart, and I also know that these are just words.
“But I don’t want you to judge me on my words, rather judge me on the actions I take moving forward from this.
“I’ll be working closely with the wellbeing team to address any behaviorual issues to ensure I don’t put myself in a comprimising position in the future.”
In the wake of the footage being released, ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys did not believe the sport had a drug problem.
The Storm trio’s incident came just days after New Zealand Warriors star Reece Walsh was arrested in Surfers Paradise and also in possession of cocaine.
Smith noted his actions only added fuel to the fire for the sport’s detractors, but was grateful for a strong support network helping him deal with his actions.
“I hate that I have added to the stereotype of players, but I thank the NRL for understanding that I’m just a young man who made a poor mistake by putting myself in the situation I did,” Smith said. “I would never intentionally try to harm the game”.
“To the Melbourne Storm, I deeply regret the trouble I have caused to the club, and all of our amazing sponsors and partners.
“To our board, staff, old boys, members, especially our fans, I am sorry.
“I am very angry and disappointed that my actions have affected my ability to play alongside my team in round one next year.
“To my teammates, I hope I can rectify what I’ve done in and gain some respect back in your eyes.
“To Justin, Frank and Craig, I’m sorry I have let you down, but thank you guys for your support in the face of all this criticism which just speaks volumes of the culture and the care you have for me and the club.
In the press conference, Smith’s teammate Cameron Munster confirmed he will enter a treamtment facility to help cope with his “difficult relationship with alcohol”, and apologised for bringing the game into disrepute.
“As you all know, the two videos emerged of me online last week that raised some serious concerns,” Munster said.
“I have been sanctioned for my actions and I accept I should be sanctioned. As some of you may know, I have had a difficult relationship with alcohol in the past.
“Clearly, I still have some hurdles to overcome. Starting tomorrow, I will be attending a treatment facility for the next four weeks.
“I know I have let a lot of people down and I will do whatever it takes to restore faith in me. I want all kids out there to know that my behaviour was not okay.
“I owe it to you to be a better role model. I am truly sorry to the NRL, my club, to the board, to my teammates, to the sponsors and fans. This should never have happened.
“I also want to extend an apology to Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs in taking away from their awesome achievements in leading up to the grand final.
“I truly am sorry guys and I will be making a change.”Internet Explorer Channel Network