Former NRL player Michael Jennings dropped a bombshell recently, but it won’t get him what he wants. Jennings admitted to taking illicit drugs during his playing career, but is naive if he thinks that is enough to win The Frownlow Medal in 2021.
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.
The former NSW and Tonga representative admitted to taking drugs during a court case for alleged rape, and claims he consumed party drugs consistently between 2013 and 2016.
Now, it’s likely that poor Michael is a little bit confused. Firstly, he took drugs, which has affected his memory. Secondly, he was knocked in the head many times during his long footy career. Furthermore, he was kicked out of the NRL in 2020 after returning a positive sample for banned substances Ligandrol and Ibutamoren and three of their metabolites.
Party dugs, performance enhancing drugs…who can tell the difference?
Michael might also be confused about where he took the drugs. He claims he enjoyed them after games, during Mad Monday and after the grand final victory with the Roosters in 2013. However, Jennings might be referring to the awards nights for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, which he attended in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020, after being nominated in each of those years. He was resting a hangover in 2017.
Snorting a bit of cocaine will not win the Frownlow in 2021. Jarryd Hayne has already been found guilty of sexual assault, Tristan Sailor has been accused of sexual assault, and Manase Fainu has been accused of stabbing someone. Plus, there’s a lot of time between now and December 31st.
What is certain is that if he can keep himself out of prison, Jennings can attend the Frownlow awards night again this year, where he can wipe away bad memories with all of the drugs he wants.