The All-Australian defender was handed a club-imposed one-match suspension for his brawl with teammate Jake Melksham at a popular restaurant. It was revealed that May had been drinking when advised not to while in the AFL’s concussion protocol.
Despite the incident and May’s history of alcohol-related off-field issues, Melbourne president Kate Roffey has said the club will not ask the 29-year-old to give up alcohol, much to Cornes’ surprise.
“This is the history of Steven May and it is largely related to alcohol. A lot of the issues that have come up since he’s been in the AFL system have been alcohol-related,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“I’m really surprised that he hasn’t this week come out and said, ‘Look, I’m at least going to have a ban from drinking’.
“Now, whether that’s for the rest of the season or whether that’s until the end of the finals, I don’t know, but if you’re a footballer who is having struggles kicking for goal, you work on it.
“If this is your achilles heel, and issues keep coming up in relation to that, well then you address it. You’re an elite athlete, and I’m surprised that Kate didn’t say that it’s an issue.”
May’s fight with Melksham has coincided with a form slump that’s seen the reigning premiers drop three straight games after a 17-match winning streak dating back to last season.
Essendon great Matthew Lloyd suggested the club’s off-field leaders could again take disciplinary decisions out of the players’ hands.
“Now it’s three weeks in a row that they’ve lost and they’re being overrun,” he told Footy Classified.
“It’s interesting that they’re starting games really well, but getting overrun, then you’ve got to start asking, ‘Are we as fit as we need to be? Is it game style? Is it our lifestyle?’.
“They’re all the questions now that maybe off-field administration might start to take a little bit more charge and go, ‘OK, we trusted you as players, but now we’re not really getting the response on field that we’d like’.”