Steven May looks dejected after the R9 match between Melbourne and Carlton at the MCG on May 9, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE defender Steven May has copped a $1875 fine for staging during his side's narrow win over North Melbourne, one of 14 players fined from Saturday's games.

In the third quarter, May was grabbed by North's Eddie Ford and rotated before he was tackled to the turf. May's first point of contact with the ground was his shoulder, but he then appeared to lean his head into the turf and grabbed his head as if he was in pain.

The umpire awarded May a free kick for a dangerous tackle.

The Match Review Officer has cited May for staging, triggering a fine of $1875, which can be reduced to $1250 with an early guilty plea.


The AFL's Tribunal guidelines say staging is a reportable offence "as it may affect umpires' decision-making".

Speaking on Sunday morning, before the MRO's finding, Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes told's The Round So Far that the AFL had to act.

"It was an embarrassing effort from Steven May, who just has to be fined," Cornes said. "The AFL can't allow unsportsmanlike behaviour like that to go on."

In addition to May, 11 other players were fined for a melee after the half-time siren in what was a fiery contest at the MCG.


Elsewhere, Port Adelaide's Zak Butters has been fined a whopping $10,000, which can be reduced to $6250 with an early plea, for rough conduct on Brisbane's Jarrod Berry. It was Butters' fourth offence, which has triggered a larger than usual fine.

Just a month ago, Butters was fined a total of $13,125 for his third rough conduct offence plus engaging in a melee, a penalty that was reduced to $8125 with an early plea.