NRL player Shaun Lane has done just enough to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal after images surfaced of him holding an unknown white substance.
Leaked photos emerged recently of Lane holding a small bag containing a white substance during last year’s Mad Monday celebrations, when Lane was playing for the Manly Sea Eagles.
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.
Lane is set to receive a fine from the NRL, but will not be banned. The lesser punishment suggests a lesser crime, and this is unlikely to help Lane’s chances of winning The Frownlow Medal this year, a fact that is readily apparent to the player.
“Yeah, it’s gonna be tough,” Lane admitted.
“But that’s why I made the move when I did. See, at the end of last year and the start of this season, heaps of guys were gettin’ their gear off, with their teammates, young women, anyone – so it was really hard to stand out from the pack and get a nomination. Guys were being charged with all sorts of stuff.”
“But the last few weeks have been pretty quiet and it’s the business end of the season so this was a great time to peak and come into form,” he explained.
Like all good footballers, though, Lane accepts that the outcome is not in his hands.
“Now I’ve just got to leave it up to the selectors.”
Lane has been invited to the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, later this year, where he will discover if he has done enough to win the award, and will find out exactly what to do with that white powder.