Rugby League ‘personality’ Beau Ryan has received a long overdue nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame following a racist segment on the Channel 9 Footy Show.
Ryan used his 15 minutes of fame to stake his claim for nomination into the Hall of Fame, during an on air segment in the home of Paul Gallen, Wentworthville, in Sydney’s West, the contents of which were later tweeted, then deleted.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players who receive media attention for similarly scandalous behaviour and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Todd Carney.
Ryan had previously been overlooked for the inter-code award on the basis that his personality alone would give him an unfair advantage over his opposition and because the award is reserved for footballers (and Grant Hackett).
“It has been suggested, since the inception of this award, that Ryan should have been nominated along with other footballers, ” read a statement from the judging committee.
“However, upon reviewing footage in which Ryan occupied space on a field while league games were taking place, we could find no evidence that Ryan was, at any time, a footballer. Thus, we quickly deleted the word “other” from all relevant correspondence on this matter and overlooked Ryan for the highly sought after award.
Furthermore, we have always worked hard to ensure a level playing field for all candidates. Such is the severity of Ryan’s unique personality that it would have given him an unbeatable edge over his rivals, something he never enjoyed during his playing days,” outlined the committee, before elaborating.
“However, the committee has since changed its official stance. While Ryan’s off-field antics may not initially appear as impressive as urinating into one’s own mouth or on a police car, the cumulative effect of an irritating personality, plus the comic desperation of resorting to racism, secured him the nomination and place him in a strong position to be inducted into the 2016 Hall of Fame.”
Inductees will be announced during the official Frownlow ceremony in October.
First published in June 2016.