Former AFL star Sam Newman jumped straight aboard the Eddie Maguire bandwagon to make the second attack on Caroline Wilson of his media career and earn himself a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
Newman directed a controversial rant at Wilson on The Footy Show, after she had responded to Maguire’s earlier comments about paying to see her held underwater.
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, and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Todd Carney.
The Geelong great first offended Wilson in 2009, when he groped a lingerie-clad mannequin displaying her image during a skit on The Footy Show. He later defamed then Western Bulldogs director, Dr Susan Alberti, who lodged an official complaint about the inherent misogyny of the skit.
The Geelong great would be the first AFL dual inductee, if successful, after earning a place in the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
“I owe a huge debt to Eddie for initiating the controversy which I was able to cash in on,”said Newman.
“I’ve been desperately seeking a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, so when Eddie started verbally attacking a woman on air, and when Caro responded, I took the chance to wade-in on the argument.”
Newman then defied his reputation and kept talking.
“So many footballing greats, like Ben Cousins and Daniel Kerr, plus NRL players like Todd Carney and Julian O’Neill, have been nominated for the Hall of Fame and it’s such a privilege to be mentioned in the same breath as them.”
“Plus, if I am inducted, I’m sure it will be a huge boost to my bid to become Lord Mayor of Melbourne.”
Rumours persist that the current controversy might prompt Newman to make a return to motor racing, a sport in which he enjoyed success following his retirement from football.
“…maybe, but just not in a Nissan,” he said.
First published in July 2016.