Anthony Mundine makes the shocking claim that Spencer Leniu was NOT being racist when he launched a disgusting slur at Ezra Mam

  • Roosters star has admitted to abusing Bronco
  • Now likely to be hit with a lengthy ban from the game
  • Footy star turned boxer Mundine has a controversial opinion

Indigenous football and boxer Anthony Mundine believes Spencer Leniu wasn’t racist when he called Ezra Mam a ‘monkey’ – and told the Broncos star to ‘toughen up’.

Leniu is set to serve a lengthy ban after admitting making racist comments about Ezra Mam during the opening round of the NRL in Las Vegas.

The Sydney Roosters prop pleaded guilty to adverse conduct and apologized in a statement to the Brisbane Five-Eighth on Thursday, the first time the Roosters had formally addressed the matter.

Mundine made his striking statement in an Instagram video he posted on Friday.

“It’s not racism,” the former Dragons and Broncos star said.

“If two brothers are brown or black boys, they call each other a black C or this or that, but that’s what they are.

“It’s like an African American and another African American calling each other the N-word.

“I think they need to take a harder line on that… a white man saying that to a black man, that’s a different story.

‘You have to take it on the chin. It’s what we (Indigenous Australians) have done all our lives.”

Leniu claimed he had no intention of racially vilifying the indigenous 21-year-old by calling him a ‘monkey’ during the match at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday evening (Sunday AEDT).

Leniu is in line for a long-term ban after admitting making nasty comments to Ezra Mam during the Roosters’ win over Brisbane in Las Vegas

Former Dragons and Broncos star and boxer Anthony Mundine believes Leniu's comment cannot be considered racist in any way

Former Dragons and Broncos star and boxer Anthony Mundine believes Leniu’s comment cannot be considered racist in any way

Mom made an official on-field complaint to referee Adam Gee after Leniu attacked him during a scuffle at the end of the Roosters’ 20-10 win.

Leniu was placed on report and later referred directly to the NRL judiciary, with a hearing set for Monday evening.

The NRL has so far been unable to obtain audio of the slur, but Broncos players are expected to testify when Leniu sits before the panel.

The Roosters recruit initially played down the incident when questioned by the broadcast media after the match, saying tensions between the teams had been ‘fun and games’.

Those comments angered Indigenous players including Kotoni Staggs and Latrell Mitchell, and Leniu has since expressed his regret.

“I would like to apologize to Ezra and his family for the use of the word I used and I am sincerely sorry for causing him so much grief,” Leniu said in a statement.

Mundine told mum (pictured at the Vegas Roosters match) to 'toughen up' and 'take it on the chin' after he addressed the abuse last Sunday

Mundine told mum (pictured at the Vegas Roosters match) to ‘toughen up’ and ‘take it on the chin’ after he addressed the abuse last Sunday

‘I have raised my hand and want to take ownership of this. I said the word, but I didn’t mean it in a racist way. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not like that.’

The Broncos have supported Mom’s version of events throughout the ordeal and released their own statement in response to Leniu on Thursday.

“The Broncos acknowledge Spencer’s apology to Ezra and the importance of taking that step. There is no place for racism in our game or in our society,” the statement said.

“The club respects the NRL judicial process that has yet to take place and we will have no further comment on that matter.

“Ezra’s well-being has been our primary concern from the beginning. He has been well supported within our club and we will continue to focus on that in the near future.’