Former AFL player Heath Shaw has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame for drink driving, gambling and drunken behaviour.
Shaw crashed into a parked car while driving drunk and then lied about the incident to the media. He was also suspended from AFL for gambling on matches and detained by police for drunken behaviour in public.
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 and AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Shaw’s strongest claim for a place in the Hall of Fame was made while playing for Collingwood. He smashed into a car while driving drunk, then denied to the media that fellow Magpie Alan Didak was a passenger in the car. Both players had to confess when video footage proved conclusive.
Shaw made a second bid for the Frownlow when he was found guilty of having a friend place a bet on an AFL game, for which he was fined $20,000 and suspended from the competition.
In a last ditch attempt to earn a place on the wall beside some of Australia’s greatest footballers, he had himself detained by police for drunken behaviour on the morning of the 2014 AFL Grand Final. For this action, he can’t blame the fact that he was a Magpie, because he was playing for GWS Giants.
Has Shaw done enough to be inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame?
Find out later this year.