NRL player James Roberts will become an underwear model while he waits to learn if he still has a football career. Roberts reportedly breached strict COVID-19 bio-security protocols when he walked out onto the balcony of his quarantine hotel room in his underwear, and has earned yet another nomination for The Frownlow Medal.
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.
Roberts strolled out onto the balcony of his room to show off his six pack and attract the attention of modelling agencies, when he was supposed to stay inside his room at all times. The strict quarantine conditions set by the Queensland government must be followed by every player, or the government may force the entire NRL competition to shut down.
Roberts can expect tough sanctions from the NRL. Or, he may get a fifth final warning. The speedster earned Frownlow nominations in 2016, 2017, 2019 and earlier this year. His off-field highlights include public nuisance, drunkenness, fighting with a security guard and accusations of sexual harassment and abuse. Earlier this year he was sanctioned for a COVID breach when he failed to wear a mask at the boxing match between Tim Tszyu and Dennis Hogan in Newcastle.
He may be punished, or he might just be offered additional wellbeing and emotional support.
Roberts can still complete his Abs routine while he waits to learn if he keeps his contract with the Wests Tigers.