NRL player Scott Bolton has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal after pleading guilty to common assault.
The North Queensland Cowboys player was charged with touching a woman inappropriately while drunk at a bar in Sydney in 2018, but escaped conviction and was handed a 12-month good behaviour bond.
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 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.
Bolton is now the sixth Australian-based rugby league player to be charged with some form of violence against women in recent months. Senior players Zane Musgrove, Jarryd Hayne, Dylan Walker and Jack de Belin are all the subject of ongoing police investigations, while junior player Liam Coleman was involved in the incident with Musgrove.
With so much competition, and after escaping conviction, Bolton faces a tough challenge to win The Frownlow Medal in 2019 – perhaps even tougher than having to tell his wife and kids that he was guilty of assault.