Former NRL player Matthew Johns has joined brother Andrew as a nominee for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
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.
Matthew earned his nomination for being part of the group of Cronulla Sharks players and officials involved in a group sex scandal with a 19-year-old woman in New Zealand.
Andrew, meanwhile, was earlier nominated for string of scandals involving drugs, alcohol, horseracing, gambling and prostitution.
Matthew was one of a group of Sharks players to engage in sexual activities with the young woman during a pre-season tour in 2002. Reports indicated that 10 players were present in the hotel room and that numerous players had sex with the woman while other players watched.
Subsequent police investigations cleared Johns and other players of any wrong doing and Johns himself apologised publicly for his infidelity.
The issue surfaced many years later, however, when ABC 4 Corners ran a story on the incident in 2009, which questioned the actions of the players and the claims and counter-claims of everyone involved.
In reaction to the report, Johns was stood down from his role on The Footy Show and his coaching role with the Melbourne Storm.
Matthew launched yet more bids for induction into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame in recent years.
A segment of The Matty Johns Show was accused of racism towards the Polynesian community and he recently confessed on radio to drinking vodka, more than once, during a church service for his son’s highschool graduation ceremony.
His most ardent effort for induction, though, was a twitter battle with Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios. Any interaction with Kyrgios is guaranteed to earn a footballer a nomination for Frownlow honours and greatly increase their chances of glory in Australia’s most prestigious inter-code award.
Judges will decide in late 2018 if either, or both, of the Johns brothers have done enough to be inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.