Tom Starling is the master of his own destiny. The NRL player chose not to wait for judges of The Frownlow Medal to notice him, so he got involved in a wild brawl and had himself arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer. He has subsequently earned a last minute nomination for the most prestigious award in Australian sport.
The winner of The Frownlow Medal will be announced in a matter of weeks, and the Canberra hooker is hoping his name will be on everyone’s lips as the judges deliberate.
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 young Raider has bucked the trend of footballers assaulting women this year. A total of five footballers received Frownlow nominations for violence against women, but Starling chose a boy in blue as his target. He spent the night in police lock up and was seen leaving the morning after with significant scars to his face.
Reports indicate that the wild brawl took place outside the Shady Palms restaurant and that the riot squad was called in to break up the brawl in which Starling and other men were involved.
The talented hooker will learn his fate in the courts in due course, and in the meantime can contemplate if it is worse to hit a woman or to hit a cop?