Calls are growing for a special section of The Frownlow Medal just for the Wives and Girlfriends of footballers after yet another controversy involving players’ partners.
Partners of NRL players were caught breaching COVID-19 regulations inside the special NRL bubble in south east Queensland. Many wives, girlfriends and children of NRL players are staying at the Novotel hotel in Surfers Paradise after the entire competition was moved to Queensland due to lockdowns in other parts of Australia.
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.
Photos in the media show WAGS passing items to each other in adjoining rooms and in rooms on other levels, which is a clear breach of the rules. It is believed some of the items are necessities like milk, while others are apparently marshmallows and lollies. Hotel managers subsequently warned guests via intercom not to pass items between floors and balconies.
The photos forced the Queensland government to threaten to shut down the NRL competition if there is any more evidence of another COVID-related breach.
The NRL partners are just the latest to surround themselves in scandal.
Amelia Miller is the most famous WAG in Frownlow circles. She not only stood by her boyfriend Nick Stevens when the ex-AFL player was in court for domestic violence charges. She not only listened to details of the horrific and repeated assaults on his ex-girlfriend which earned him a prison sentence, but she verbally attacked the victim via social media. Her verbal attacks only ceased when she posted updates boasting about the designer-label clothes she was wearing to the court case every day.
Taylor Winterstein is the wife of Frank, and Shanelle Cartwright the wife of Bryce. Both of the NRL WAGS made headlines for their public stance against any form of vaccination, even when Bryce’s refusal to get vaccinated almost ended the season for his Gold Coast Titans team in 2020.
Their social media stance forced Instagram/Facebook to place restrictions on their accounts in order to prevent dangerous and misinformed anti-vaccination messages gaining traction.
Frownlow judges are considering the creation of a special category for WAGS, and will seek consultation from all relevant stakeholders, including the wife of Api Koriosau. The NRL player was recently accused of allegedly brining a woman, who was not his wife, into his hotel room during State of Origin camp. Not once, but twice. Allegedly.
Judges are also deciding whether to invite WAGS to the debaucherous awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame later this year.