NRL player Jamil Hopoate has already fulfilled a new year’s resolution after being nominated for The Frownlow Medal for alleged domestic violence and drink driving.
Hopoate was charged with three counts of common assault, two counts of stalk/intimidate intend fear physical harm and mid-range drink driving after an incident in Port Macquarie in late 2020.The Brisbane Broncos player has been granted conditional bail and will face court in late January.
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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.
Hopoate continues a fine family tradition in The Frownlow Medal. His father John already sits in the Hall of Fame for his infamous finger incident, as well as numerous other off-field scandals during and after his career. Jamil himself spent time in prison after assaulting two men outside a pub in Sydney in 2014, for which he was sacked by the Manly Sea Eagles.
Jamil is currently off contract so The Frownlow Medal might be the only victory he celebrates this year. He can add the medal to the wooden spoon he won with the Broncos in 2021, and if he is found guilty of domestic violence, he will win the coveted Wife Beater tattoo.
Domestic violence charges and drink driving would normally earn a player favouritism for The Frownlow Medal, but not in 2021. Fellow NRL players Jack de Belin, Jarryd Hayne and Tristan Sailor have all been accused of sexual assault, while Manase Fainu faces charges of stabbing a man.
The fight for The Frownlow Medal in 2021 looks like being one of the toughest in history.