NRL player Dylan Walker burst into tears recently when he was presented with the news that he has been ruled out of the race for The Frownlow Medal in 2019. Walker saw his chances of glory slip away when he was found not guilty of assaulting his partner and the mother of his child.
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.
Emotions flowed during an interview with an Australian media outlet as Walker finally realised the magnitude of his actions and his failed attempt to win the biggest prize in Australian sport.
Walker had been accused of allegedly assaulting his partner in the street in the early hours of the morning after an argument while he was playing video games. His partner changed her statement during the court case and Walker was ultimately found not guilty. As a result, he was allowed to return to playing NRL for the Manly Sea Eagles and was ruled ineligible for The Frownlow Medal.
The talented centre will have to do something very special in order to win The Frownlow Medal this year, as fellow players hold standing nominations for actions such as assault, violence against women, rape, sex tapes and drug and alcohol abuse.