Melbourne Demons players Christian Petracca and Jayden Hunt are the latest AFL players to earn a Frownlow nomination for inappropriate touching of a teammate. The players were caught on camera fondling each other’s private parts while their coach spoke to the the team on the field during the three-quarter break.
The incident earned the pair a nomination for The Frownlow Medal and comes just weeks after their AFL colleagues, especially from the Richmond Tigers, were caught, criticised and punished for doing exaclty the same thing.
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.
In the footage, Hunt appears to poke Petracca “in the centre square” and Petracca seems to enjoy the sensation so much that he returns the favour to Hunt.
The AFL players issued a statement to the press apologising to the public. Even their captain, Max Gawn, was forced to roll out the tired line that AFL players are role models with a responsibility to the AFL and the wider community.
The pair then spoke exclusively to The Frownlow Medal.
“Coach told us to improve our hand balls,” claimed Hunt.
“So this is what we did.”
“He told us to get our hands on the ball more often, to get right in there and punch some holes through the middle, because at that time Essendon were still really strong and it was a tough game. We don’t really know what the fuss is about. AFL is a physical game and a contact sport. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty”
The Demons currently sit outside the top eight, in ninth position, so it appears that their teammates’ crown jewels are the only silverware they will get their hands on this year.