THE AFL's integrity department has opened an inquiry into the Steven May-Jake Melksham fight in and outside a Prahran restaurant on Sunday night.
Having indicated it would not probe the matter, and after more worrying details had continued to emerge about the fight, the AFL on Thursday night said it would launch its own investigation.
'HORRIBLE ACT' Gawn embarrassed by teammates' fight, GF sledge 'false'
"The AFL confirms it is looking into the incident between Steven May and Jake Melksham that transpired on Sunday evening," the AFL said in a statement.
"No matter what the situation or circumstances, violence is never the answer. As professional footballers, as people, we expect better and while the club has taken the matter extremely seriously, the AFL is currently conducting its own investigation."
Melksham punched May in Greville St on Sunday night, after taking offence at May's attitude toward another player, Joel Smith.
During a dinner at Entrecote of at least six Melbourne players, one player directed what he intended to be a playful comment toward Smith relating to the injury Smith suffered in the finals last year, which ultimately opened up a position in the team which went on to win the premiership.
Melksham verbally intervened, suggesting everyone back off with the sledging. May didn't feel the need to do so, which created tension that built up to the point of Melksham hitting May outside the restaurant. Melksham, like Smith, was not part of the Demons' flag team.
May, concussed in round 11 and unavailable for that reason in round 12, has been suspended by the Demons for Monday's match against Collingwood. He was effectively under concussion protocols, and as such, should not have been drinking.
Melksham has required medical procedures to treat an infection in his hand after the fight.
Some of the Demons in the dinner group had attended that afternoon's George Kambosos-Devin Haney boxing bout at Marvel Stadium.
It is believed May attended another Prahran nightspot after being hit by Melksham.