Rugby Union player Digby Ioane has attacked the judges of The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame for taking so long to nominate him for the prestigious award.
Ioane took to twitter to call the judges “…the worst judges ever” after they waited until 2019 to recognise incidents which occurred as far back as 2011.
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, while Karmichael Hunt is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
“Bust my gut since 2011 for Frownlow nomination nuthin ‘til 2019. Worst.Judges.Ever.” he tweeted.
The 2011 incident to which Ioane is referring is the twitter sledge of a New Zealand referee who adjudicated the match between Ioane’s Queensland Reds and the Wellington Hurricanes, who won the match. Ioane called the referee “The worst ref ever” but promptly removed the tweet once it was brought to the attention of Rugby officials
He increased his chances of induction into the Hall of Fame in 2013 when a warrant was issued for his arrest. The warrant was issued because Ioane had failed to attend an earlier court hearing to answer allegations of assault at a pub in Melbourne.
Ioane was adamant that he was unaware of the court hearing. He then posted gangster style photos of himself partying with his Rugby buddies a few days after the hearing.
Ioane’s actions left many unanswered questions. The first is whether he has done enough to be inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame. The second is what he will call the judges if he is not inducted.