NRL player Tevita Pangai Jr has earned a nomination for The Frownlow Medal after he was caught attending the opening of a barber shop which was raided by police due to its alleged connection to a bikie gang.
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.
Not only was Pangai Jr caught up in a police raid, but he was judged to have breached the NRL’s coronavirus bio-security protocols and will now have to self-isolate for two weeks. The Brisbane Broncos player is not suspected of having any link to the bikie gang, but was mingling with the public, which is against the rules of the NRL’s COVID-19 restrictions.
Pangai had already missed four games in this truncated season, after he was found guilty of dangerous contact on an opponent in a game against the Cowboys. The rampaging forward also adds his name to the very long list of footballers who have been punished for breaching social distancing regulations in 2020.
It makes you wonder if anyone will be able to attend the awards ceremony for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame this year.