Damian Monkhorst played AFL for Collingwood. Damian Monkhorst was racist. He is proof of the systemic racism at the famous club which has only recently been called out.
Monkhorst racially abused Essendon’s indigenous star Michael Long during a game in 1995 and has earned a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
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.
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.
So significant was Monkhorst’s action that the AFL created Rule 30, which prohibits racial vilification during a sporting contest. It is actually the first sporting law in Australia to specifically prohibit racial abuse and preceded initiatives such as the Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
Monkhorst has been dragged into the racism controversy at his former club, but has he done enough to be inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame?