Former NRL player Jarryd Hayne‘s prison buddies have welcomed him with a Wife Beater tattoo on behalf of The Frownlow Medal. Hayne earned the tattoo after being found guilty of raping a woman in 2018 and being sentenced to five years behind bars.
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 inmates of Parklea Correctional Centre in Sydney set upon Hayne as soon as he arrived in the yard, pelted apples at him and holding him down while ‘Big Darryl’ draw the tattoo. The former rugby league star apparently struggled and protested until he saw what exactly was being inked onto his skin. Hayne then broke out in a broad smile when he realised he had been given the most sought after marking in Australian sport. The special tattoo also cheered him up after he was denied his request for Foxtel TV, and food and laundry services.
Hayne was recently found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in her home on the night of the 2018 NRL grand final. After a long and drawn-out court case, he was eventually sentenced to five years and nine months in prison.
Hayne is the hot favourite to win The Frownlow Medal in 2021, but he cannot claim victory yet. A year is a long time in rugby league, and fellow NRL players Jack de Belin and Tristan Sailor are still in court, also charged with alleged sexual assault.