Home Australia ‘I just stuck to my beliefs’: Ezra Mam has no regrets about how he handled Spencer Leniu’s racial slur

‘I just stuck to my beliefs’: Ezra Mam has no regrets about how he handled Spencer Leniu’s racial slur

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Sydney Roosters prop Spencer Leniu wears a suit as he enters his NRL court hearing.

Brisbane five-eighth Ezra Mam has no regrets about calling out Spencer Leniu’s racial slur in Las Vegas and says he is prepared to reunite with the Sydney Roosters prop when the time is right.

Mam, a proud Torres Strait Islander, spoke for the first time on Tuesday since Leniu called him a monkey in the first round clash in Las Vegas.

Mam lodged an official complaint about Leniu’s on-field comments and Leniu was subsequently suspended by the NRL judiciary for eight games.

When asked if she regretted the way she handled the situation, Mom said “no.”

“I just stuck to my beliefs and how I was raised as a strong cultural man,” he said.

“If there’s one thing I’m proud of, it’s my culture, and that’s what I’m going to defend. It’s my identity and that’s the reason I’m here.”

Spencer Leniu was suspended for eight weeks for racially abusing Ezra Mam.(ABC News: Bindi Bryce)

Mam rejected an earlier offer from Leniu to meet him in Brisbane in the run-up to the court hearing, but said he would be prepared to do so in the future.

“I think when the time is right we’ll chat,” Mom said.

“I appreciate that he wanted to come up and get close to me. I’m over that and I’ll probably talk to him when I see him, or whenever.”

Mam received huge support from the Broncos club and his teammates after the incident, along with current Indigenous stars Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker and past greats Lote Tuqiri and Steve Renouf.

“It was definitely a big thing for other players to come out on my behalf and reach out to me,” he said.

“It encouraged me and lifted my spirits. It’s good to see all the indigenous and non-indigenous players reaching out to me. Now I will play well, it was a long time ago.

“It was a little tough, but in saying that I really want to be in the present. I’m not going to talk about it anymore. I’ll continue with the season and start playing good football.”

Leniu’s suspension will expire a week after the Broncos-Roosters clash in round nine, although the Sydneysiders will return to Brisbane for the Magic Round the following week.

The Broncos received a big boost in training on Tuesday with star quartet Adam Reynolds (hamstring), Payne Haas (knee), Brendan Piakura (ankle) and Deine Mariner (back) all training hard ahead of the road clash on Saturday against the Wests Tigers.

“It’s a great boost of confidence for the whole team,” Mam said.

“It’s always a bit of responsibility for me when [halfback] Reyno is not there. It’s a big confidence boost for me to guide the guys and try to play my best game when he’s not there.

“It will be a good game for him and for the other guys.”

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