Brandon Smith viral video, Sydney Roosters respond, threaten legal action over defamation claim

The Sydney Roosters have responded to a video of hooker Brandon Smith and teammates circulating on social media.

The club stated that no breaches of NRL rules occurred during the clip.

Last week, prop Terrell May live-streamed a merchandise giveaway alongside Smith, Spencer Leniu, Zach Dockar-Clay, and Naufahu Whyte ahead of the side’s Magic Round clash with Cronulla.

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The broadcast appears to have been filmed inside a hotel room.

A snippet from the stream has been doing the rounds on social media since Monday night, with some viewers claiming illicit activity may be occurring during the video.

“The Sydney Roosters have been made aware of a small clip from a longer live stream that some on social media have claimed identifies behaviour that breaches NRL rules,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Sydney Roosters uphold the highest standards of conduct and integrity, both on and off the field. Our players adhere to all NRL policies, including its rigorous drug testing and education programs.”

The club also threatened legal action against those making “damaging” accusations against their players online.

“As a club, we remind those on social media that we take the defamatory statements some have made very seriously, and we are conducting a thorough investigation to identify the source(s) of several false accusations. Legal action will be pursued against those found responsible for spreading damaging and unsubstantiated claims,” the statement read.

Smith was previously embroiled in a white-powder scandal after Melbourne was knocked out of week three of the finals series by Penrith in 2021.

That October, then-Melbourne teammates Smith, Cameron Munster and Chris Lewis were each suspended for one match and fined a total of $49,000 after a video emerged of the three players in a hotel room with a white substance on the table

Smith departed the Storm for the Roosters at the end of the 2022 season.

Ahead of this season, the NRL handed Panthers hooker Mitch Kenny a one-match suspension and $10,000 fine, with half suspended, for an Instagram post that showed Kenny’s face alongside the caption, “couple Boxing Day lines have got me in trouble”.

At the time, the NRL Integrity Unit “alleged Kenny engaged in conduct which has brought the game and his club into disrepute”.

WWOS is not suggesting any of these players has engaged in any wrongdoing in the most recent video; only that certain viewers have claimed it may show illicit activities.

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