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Brandon Smith, Melbourne Storm, Penrith Panthers, apology, podcast, statement, YKTR podcast, news, Sydney Roosters, Craig Bellamy, Trent Robinson,


The fallout from Brandon Smith’s explosive podcast appearance continues to rain down, with the Penrith Panthers the latest to hit back at the superstar hooker’s comments.

Smith, 25, landed in hot water this week after his “highly disrespectful” 56-minute interview on the YKTR Sports podcast, with the Melbourne Storm responding with a scathing statement and the NRL currently investigating.

The Kiwi international all but declared on the podcast that he’s joining the Roosters from 2023, reportedly deciding on the move without talking to Melbourne.

Smith, who has reportedly toured the Roosters, Titans and Dolphins club facilities, added on the podcast that the Eels, Panthers and Tigers had also attempted to sign him.

But the Panthers shut down that claim on Tuesday night, saying they had never made contact over a potential move – nor had they ever “expressed interest” in a transfer.

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Smith opens up on love for Roosters | 02:16

“Penrith Panthers wishes to address a specific comment made by Melbourne Storm player Brandon Smith which has received mainstream media coverage,” a statement from the club read.

“Speaking on a podcast episode, Smith identified Panthers as an NRL club that had expressed interest in acquiring his services during recent contract negotiations.

“The club strongly rejects this assertion.

“At no stage has Panthers expressed interest in acquiring Smith’s services, and the club has had no contact with the Storm, Smith or his management.”

Penrith’s general manager Matt Cameron labelled it a ‘mistruth’, but without ‘ill intent’.

“While there would be no ill intent in making the comment, mistruths like this can and do have a tangible impact on our club’s actual business dealings,” Cameron said.

“We felt it important to correct the public record on this occasion.”

Brandon Smith drops Roosters bombshell | 01:02

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It comes after Melbourne Storm delivered a scathing public statement in response to the rake’s wild appearance on the podcast, but said he would remain at the club for the 2022 season after he apologised for his comments in the interview. But the club has also confirmed Smith will leave Melbourne at the end of next year, with the star hooker expected to join the Roosters.

Meanwhile, the NRL is investigating his expletive-laden interview.

The Storm were under the impression they’d be given club final bidding rights and chief executive Justin Rodski issued Smith a public slap down on Tuesday afternoon as the club confirmed his exit.

But Rodski also confirmed Smith will return to pre-season training on December 7 and that he’ll be playing in Melbourne next year, ending speculation the club could cut ties with him immediately.

The confirmation came after Smith issued a statement apologising for some of his comments while also vowing to keep being himself.

“I want to address current media speculation going on around me at the moment, and specifically my recent comments on the YKTR Sports podcast,” Smith said in a statement.

“Over the past two month, I’ve read multiple headlinese about me day in day out, many of which were untrue, non that from mouth directly.

“I done [sic] this podcast for that very reason. To be fully transparent about he process I’ve been going through.

Melbourne Storm star Brandon Smith on the YKTR Sports podcast.Source: YouTube

“It’s honestly been really exciting through and I’m truly grateful to being the position I’m in.

“One thing I pride myself on is being myself, and regardless of backlash I will continue to do so.

“That being said, I do acknowledge and want to apologise for how some of the comments have been received.

“Specifically to the Melbourne Storm, it was never my intent to disrespect or come across as ungrateful to the club that has done so much for me and my family.

“And that goes for my coaches, members, staff and most of all, my teammates.

“I speak from the heart – for better or worse sometimes – and I’m sorry if anyone was hurt by my words.

Brandon Smith.Source: Supplied

“But at the end of the day they are my words.”

Smith said on the podcast that drinking is “a massive part of the culture” at the Storm and detailed a wild drinking story involving Dale Finucane.

He also said Melbourne legend Cameron Smith “loves a beer” and referred to Bellamy as “old f***er” while using that profanity 61 times.

“I specifically also want to address the media honing in on my comments around the Storm culture, and it being framed as a ‘drinking culture’ they have going on down there,” Smith continued in his statement on Tuesday.

“Our culture is built on hard work and effort as the main priorities.

“These comments have been taken way out of context, and I emplore [sic] anyone interested in the matter to please watch the interview in its entirety before jumping to conclusions.

“This will be the last time I address the comments made on this podcast. My focus is now fully turned to the future with the Melbourne Storm and all the amazing opportunities laid before me.

“Whatever happens I will give 100 per cent. It’s all I know. If I’m to be label [sic] a terrible person so be it, if I cuss too much I’m sorry but that is me and I continue to be me.

Forever grateful. Cheese.”

The Storm broke their silence on Tuesday afternoon, confirming Smith will play for the club in 2022 and return to training on December 7.

“Recent comments made by Brandon in a podcast, and the way he expressed them, do not align with Storm’s values and the way we operate as a club,” Storm chief executive Justin Rodski said.

“The statements have deeply offended current and former players, coaches, staff and board members and the club strongly rejects the comments made about the Storm culture.

“We acknowledge Brandon’s apology made on social media today and his willingness now to prepare for the 2022 season with Storm.

“Brandon has every right to explore future opportunities as any player would in his position, and ultimately we respect his decision to play football elsewhere from 2023.” Rodski said.

Smith also spoke on the podcast about taking $1000 off teammate Cameron Munster while playing card games for money throughout the season.

In the wide-ranging interview he even spoke about trading crypto currency and only using cash to play pokies.

Rugby league great Mark Geyer on Tuesday morning said Smith’s position at the Storm was untenable following the bombshell podcast.

Smith made his NRL debut at the Storm in 2017 and has played 86 games for the club.

He was named the 2021 Dally M hooker of the year.

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