Melbourne legend Cameron Smith has slammed former teammates Cameron Munster and Brandon Smith for their “dumb choices” and taken a swipe at the Storm for their handling of the video scandal that hijacked the start of grand final week.
Smith said Munster and Smith had not only hurt their teammates and fans by partying in a hotel room with what appears to be a white substance, but also the former players who had moved away from home and sacrificed plenty to make the Storm the club it is today.
Brandon Smith and Cameron Munster in a room with white powder.
The NRL and Storm are expected to come down hard on Smith, Munster and Chris Lewis next week with hefty fines of up to $40,000 and potential bans ranging from two to four matches.
Unlike the New Zealand Warriors who addressed Reece Walsh’s drug drama almost immediately after he was arrested in possession of cocaine over the weekend, Smith said the Storm dragged their feet dealing with their own star pair, which included Munster and Smith having to sheepishly sit through the Dally Ms after the video was made public on Monday.
“I think everyone, particularly league fans, they appreciated how quickly the Warriors addressed the [Walsh] situation,” Smith told SEN Radio.
“I think if Melbourne had their time again, and they may not agree with this, but they probably should have got on the front foot quicker and addressed it.
Cameron Smith did not hold back on his former teammates involved in the video scandal.Credit:Getty
“I only learned about it when I walked into the Dally M ceremony in Brisbane. It looked awkward, and I could sense how awkward it was for Brandon Smith and Cameron Munster sitting at those tables.
“They were very quiet and very unlike themselves; they’re usually upbeat and lively characters.
“It was left to Craig Bellamy to address the media after he received the coach of the year award.
“A club official should have got up and fronted the media straight up, knocked it on the head and got it out of the way and allowed the process to happen and the findings to come out.”
Smith was aware drugs were a problem in society, but NRL players were entitled to be held to different standards.
“For these players to go out and make such dumb choices, it’s really disappointing – I’m being completely honest, it’s extremely, extremely disappointing,” Smith said. “It’s not a widespread problem, I don’t think it is, and I really hope it’s not.
“I understand in society there are some issues out there with drugs and young people.
“At the end of the day, these guys are in a very different position to most other young people out there in the normal world.
“What they need to understand is you can’t have it both ways. You can’t be a leader on game day and not want to be a leader any other time. If you’re a leader on game day, you’re a leader every day you represent the club, and your actions contribute to how everyone feels about you as a leader.
“I’d like to think they’re smarter than the way they’ve acted.
“To allow outsiders into a room and they’ve got phones out filming … it’s mind-boggling to see these guys make these poor choices.”
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