AFL player Sam Powell-Pepper has become the latest footballer to earn a nomination for The Frownlow Medal courtesy of a lewd image which appeared on social media.
The Port Adelaide player is the subject of an AFL investigation into an image he posted on social media which shows him in his underwear with a woman draped across his thighs.
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.
Powell-Pepper has since apologised for the image and removed it from social media, while the AFL decides what action should be taken.
The scandal is the third involving footballers and naked images to emerge in the last week. The most highly publicised case involved players from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, who have since been cleared of any wrongdoing, and another NRL player, Manase Fainu, from the Manly Sea Eagles.
Powell-Pepper’s scandal also follows another off-field incident earlier this year. He was suspended by the AFL in April after it was discovered that he had inappropriately touched a woman at an Adelaide bar while drunk.
Powell-Pepper will find out soon if he has done enough to win The Frownlow Medal in 2018, against footballers who have been nominated for fighting with teammates and strangers, homophobia, racism, public nudity and drunkenness and misuse of social media. For a complete list of his competition for the highly-coveted award, go to http://www.instagram.com/thefrownlowmedal.