The world has officially gone mad. A rugby league player has been punished for tackling another man. An athlete who has been trained from childhood to throw himself at other men in order to halt their forward progress has been fined and forced to miss one game, and earned himslef a nomination for The Frownlow Medal.
Victor Radley was fined $20,000 recently after he was found guilty of tackling a member of the public outside a house party in Byron Bay in December 2020.
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.
Radley was given a two-match ban but was set to miss one game anyway due to injury. Does that mean he hurt himself while tackling the man? If not, should he have been tackling a random person on the street if he was already injured? He should have checked with Tom Trobojevic before he challenged a bloke to a late-night test of physical prowess.
The Sydney Roosters forward is alleged to have headbutted and punched the man during the altercation, and to have told friends that the man came to the party uninvited and pushed a woman, but these claims have not been proven. Radley will now undertake an education and training course, as he failed to report the incident to the NRL.
Radley is famous for throwing his relatively small frame at much larger opponents, but will have to confine this behaviour to the football field from now on.