NRL player Cameron Munster has entered Role Model Rehab after earning a nomination for The Fronwlow Medal for appearing in a leaked video in the presence of cocaine.
Munster follows a well-trodden path of footballing role models who have undertaken formal rehabilitation for abuse of drugs or alcohol, and he has promised to avoid consuming alcohol for 12 months. He has also promised to be a better role model.
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.
Munster appeared shirtless and dancing on a table beside a quantity of cocaine in the leaked video, alongside Storm teammates Brandon Smith and Chris Lewis, plus other men. Following negative press from the video, Munster was given a suspended $100,000 fine, suspended for one match and forced to attend rehab. He has also been told to avoid alcohol for a year.
The Queensland Origin star was also dropped from the Storm leadership group, which comprises fellow Frownlow nominees Jesse Bromwich (aka Captain Cocaine) and Christian Welch.
Munster told the media:
“I want the kids out there to know that my behaviour was not OK. I owe it to you to be a better role model, and I’ll strive to do that in future.”
Included in Munster’s punishment is a requirement to provide coaching and education for young men and women entering the elite sporting system, because he is such as great role model.