AFL player Alex Fasolo had a few drinks on Australia Day, had a scuffle with a mate, and injured his arm. Silly, yes, but it it enough to earn a nomination for the most prestigious award in Australian sport?
The friendly fight damaged Fasolo’s arm and could see him miss a number of regular season games for his new club Carlton, and has drawn criticism from many people within the AFL.
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. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.
So, has Fasolo done enough to earn a nomination for The Frownlow Medal? Let’s look at some of the other players to have been nominated so far in 2019.
Two other nominees suffered self-inflicted injuries which will force them to miss some of the footy season.
Jacob Saifiti started the ball rolling when he got into a real fight outside a pub which left him with a broken leg and a $50,000 fine from his NRL club the Newcastle Knights.
AFL player Majak Daw earned his nomination after being dragged out of the Yarra River by emergency workers late at night. He had reportedly mixed medication and driven to the top of Bolte Bridge where his car was found. He was also taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Fellow AFL player Marley Williams followed a familiar script and got involved in a drunken fight outside a pub in Melbourne, while NRL player Michael Chee Kam put his hand up for the prize after being charged with assaulting an Uber driver in Bondi. Tautau Moga committed a similar act, being accused of slapping a taxi driver.
Another NRL player, Dylan Napa, made a serious attack on the Frownlow after he appeared in three videos containing sexual content which found their way onto the internet.
Fasolo’s misdemeanour stacks up pretty well against those incidents, but not the remaining scandals. At time of writing, four Rugby League players are under investigation for violence against women. Jarryd Hayne and Jack de Belin are under investigation for alleged sexual assault, while Zane Musgrove and rookie Liam Coleman were charged with assault. Dylan Walker was alleged to have assaulted his partner, but those charges have since been withdrawn. Finally, Scott Bolton pleaded guilty to common assault of a woman at a bar in Sydney.
Considering the fact that fellow nominees have been charged with violence against women and genuine assault, the question remains, has Fasolo done enough to earn a nomination for The Frownlow Medal?