Action taken on Greyhounds NSW staffer after bookmaker auto-publishes appalling Ezra Mam comment

Greyhounds NSW has apologised for a form guide note that said punters could “Go Bananas” over a dog named after Ezra Mam (the dog is actually called Ezra Man), the Indigenous NRL player who was called a “monkey” by a rival player.

Sydney Roosters prop Spencer Leniu was handed an eight-game ban by the NRL on Monday for directing the slur at Brisbane five-eighth Mam during the sides’ round-one clash in Las Vegas.

The incident has cast a long shadow over the NRL’s foray into the US and the start of the 2024 campaign.

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On the same night as Leniu faced the NRL judiciary, Greyhounds NSW was forced to issue an apology after a staffer referenced the incident in the online form guide for a race in Maitland.

“Go Bananas! Let’s see IF we can get some positive Headlines, tonight?” read the notes for the runner Ezra Man, followed by descriptions of the dog’s recent form.

The comment was later removed from Greyhounds NSW’s website but the correction did not flow through to the websites of the organisation’s wagering partners.

Ezra Mam and the ‘appalling’ form comment (inset) that caught out Sportsbet. Credit: Getty Images/Screenshot

“GRNSW is appalled by what was published, and apologises unreservedly for the comment, and the distress it has caused,” a statement from Greyhounds NSW read.

“GRNSW also apologises unreservedly to its partners who were unwittingly and through no fault of their own, caught up in the incident.

“GRNSW will not tolerate this kind of behaviour and appropriate action has been taken.”

Greyhounds NSW has been contacted for clarification as to the “appropriate action” that had been taken with some media outlets believing the person responsible had been sacked.

The form guide from Greyhounds NSW’s websites syndicates to those of betting agencies, which were unable to remove the content from their own channels.

Sportsbet, the country’s largest bookmaker, abandoned betting on the race after the complaint was brought to its attention via social media on Monday night.

The organisation has since been in contact with the NRL to confirm it had not been responsible for the comment, which appeared on its website and app.

“We are extremely disappointed highly offensive and inappropriate comments supplied by a third party were automatically published on our platforms,” Sportsbet said in a statement.

“Sportsbet immediately removed the event and associated comments when we became aware.

“Our partner Greyhound Racing NSW has confirmed that necessary action has been taken, and we have sought further re-assurances that appropriate controls are in place.

“We do not tolerate hate speech, discrimination and racism in our organisation, on our platforms, or by our partners. We will continue to call it out and unreservedly apologise for the distress this has caused.”

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