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Police fine Cleary: Panther wants to make amends for 'stupid' actions

Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary has described the actions that led to both he and teammate Tyrone May receiving two-week suspensions as ''irresponsible, selfish and pretty plain stupid".

The duo accepted the bans on Tuesday after being found to have been untruthful to the NRL Integrity Unit.

On Wednesday, NSW Police issued Cleary with a $1000 Penalty Infringement Notice by officers conducting inquiries into the circumstances surrounding a group not complying with Ministerial Directions in Sydney’s west.

According to the police statement, officers from Nepean Police Area Command initiated an investigation after photos and videos were shared on social media concerning an incident at a Penrith home on April 25. The five women in the incident were each fined $1000 on April 30.

"A 22-year-old man, who was filmed in the videos, was spoken to by police at the time. Following information received and further inquiries, the man was issued a $1000 PIN for non-essential travel via email about 2pm today [Wednesday]."

Cleary told the Panthers website on Tuesday that he wanted to prove his remorse with how he handles himself in the future.

"I'm obviously pretty embarrassed by myself and not happy about what I have done," Cleary said.

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"I just want to apologise for my actions. My actions were irresponsible, selfish, and just pretty plain stupid to be honest.

"I have brought a lot of negative attention to not only myself, but my family, the club, the game as well. That is probably what has hurt me the most.

"I have learned a lot about myself and I never want to go through this again. I think this could be a moment where I can kick on as a leader, and as a person."

In a statement posted on the Panthers website on Tuesday, Panthers group CEO Brian Fletcher said the club supported the penalties. 

They were initially fined over breaching social distancing rules and the subsequent sanctions were as a result of their comments when interviewed.

Cleary will serve a two-match ban as well as a $30,000 fine while his housemate May will also miss two matches on top of the four-match suspension he already had to start the 2020 competition.

May has been fined $15,000.

Panthers utility Tyrone May.
Panthers utility Tyrone May. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

"Our club has a responsibility to our members, our corporate partners, our community and the game as a whole to uphold certain standards of behaviour," Fletcher said in the statement.

"When a player or staff member falls short of those standards, as has been the case in this instance, there must be meaningful consequences.

"To that end, Panthers supports the sanctions proposed by the NRL in relation to Nathan Cleary and Tyrone May.

"Both players have this morning expressed sincere remorse for their actions and confirmed to the club they will accept the proposed sanctions."

Cleary apologises for 'irresponsible actions'

Cleary was caught breaking social distancing guidelines when photographs emerged of him with a group of women at his house last month.

It was then revealed that he had been part in the filming of a TikTok video during the catch-up.

In an NRL statement released on Monday, "the notices allege that the players were untruthful in relation to material matters and the proposed sanctions reflect the seriousness of those allegations".

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff respect and honour the traditional custodians of the land and pay our respects to their elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.