NRL player Nathan Cleary needs only 10 minutes to please a bevvy of young ladies, and it this speed and agility which has earned him a nomination for The Frownlow Medal. Cleary hosted a group of young women at his home on Anzac Day and was subsequently sanctioned for breaching COVID-19 social distancing rules.
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 NRL player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.
The skilful young halfback apparently allowed the young women in to his home while they waited for their Uber. While they were there, a photo was taken of him in the presence of the group and uploaded to social media.
Cleary since apologised for his mistake but was punished by the NRL while the incident is investigated further. Just as the NRL prepares to resume its competition, Cleary becomes the fourth NRL player to be punished for breaching social distancing rules, and the sixth footballer to receive a Frownlow nomination for the same offence.
Rumours also persist that Cleary, and the remaining five COVID-19 nominees, have switched to Esports and will star in the next series of football-based computer game competitions, where they can not come into physical contact with other people.