NRL player Addin Fonua-Blake has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after pleading guilty to charges of domestic violence in 2015.
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. Kiwi international Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 before Corey Norman in 2016 and Tim Simona in 2017.
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 Julian O’Neill.
Fonua-Blake admitted to assaulting his girlfriend after being arrested and charged with kicking her and striking her in the face. He claimed that the violence occurred after consuming too much alcohol during a drunken night out with teammates from the St. George-Illawarra Dragons.
He was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence and fined $10,000 before being stood down by the Dragons.
The big prop spent some time out of the game and underwent counselling but will play in the 2018 NRL season for the Manly Sea Eagles.
During the police investigation and court proceedings, Fonua-Blake told reporters he wanted to move on from the incident and be “…the best role model…possible.”
First published in March, 2018.