The Canterbury Bulldogs are the fifth football club to be nominated for The Frownlow Medal after they copped a massive fine for failing to advise their players of COVID protocols. Five players broke bio-security protocols when drinking at pubs in Sydney and some feared they could shut down the NRL competition completely.
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 Bulldogs club paid a $50,000 fine after Dylan Napa, Brandon Wakeham, Sione Katoa, Corey Waddell and Aaron Schoupp went out for a few drinks in Bondi and Coogee, in the heart of Sydney’s latest COVID-19 outbreak. The players were fined around $1000 each, but the club copped the biggest fine because the NRL found it had not done enough to advise players of the latest rules regarding player movement.
Canterbury is now the fifth club to be nominated for an award that is normally reserved for individual players. Fellow NRL clubs Cronulla Sharks and South Sydney Rabbitohs were nominated, alongside AFL clubs West Coast Eagles and Collingwood Magpies. The clubs earned their place among Frownlow hopefuls for offences such as covering up a player drug test and domestic violence accusations, to institutional racism, a racist social media post, and a Frownlow classic – having an entire team kicked out of a restaurant for drunken, anti-social behaviour.
Frownlow judges are hoping that the Bulldogs don’t forget to tell their players exactly where and when the Frownlow awards night will be held later this year.