Former football star Israel Folau has launched legal action against The Frownlow Medal claiming he did not win the award due to religious discrimination. Folau claims his numerous homophobic social media posts warranted a medal and that he will seek compensation through the courts.
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.
Folau has never won the biggest prize in Australian sport, despite being nominated in 2018 and 2019, and despite playing first-grade AFL, for the Wallabies, and for the Queensland State of Origin team. He is also attempting to fight his way back into the NRL, so he can take another shot at winning The Frownlow Medal.
The cross-code star revealed his intention to sue the judges of the prize during a press conference for his planned return to football with the Southport Tigers lower-grade rugby league team in Queensland. Folau has not played professional football of any kind in Australia since his latest homophobic social media post cost him his contract with Rugby Australia.
He claimed to be very confident of winning the court case as he has the financial backing of Clive Palmer and the most powerful ally of all – The Lord Almighty. Folau also accused the Frownlow judges of religious discrimination in not giving him the medal, which went to Karmichael Hunt in 2018, and Ben Barba in 2019, neither of whom profess any strong religious devotion.
Judges of the medal deny any accusations of religious discrimination, or any other form of discrimination, and invite Folau to read the articles on this website, and to peruse http://www.instagram.com/thefrownlowmedal to see that all nominees are judged by their actions alone.