Judges of The Frownlow Medal are demanding that NRL star Jarryd Hayne hand back the medal he won in 2021 after he was freed from prison on bail.
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.
Hayne won the prestigious award after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman on NRL grand final night in 2018, but was recently released from Cooma Correctional Centre after having the convictions quashed. He will face a retrial in the near future.
Frownlow judges waited patiently outside the prison to take the medal from Hayne, but he was whisked away by his minders and taken straight to Hillsong Church where he was granted absolution. On the manicured lawns of the megachurch, he stood with the medal draped around his neck and issued a lengthy statement.
“Yep, I’ve still got it, and I’m not givin’ it to noone” he stated.
“It was in the paper bag they gave back to me when I walked out. I wanted to keep it in prison with me but they wouldn’t let me. It’s the most special and valuable thing I’ve ever owned. All the boys inside asked me about it and wanted to see it, and half of them reckon they should’ve won it instead of me ‘cos of all the crazy stuff they done, but I told ’em that they never played pro footy like I did, and they’re not as bad as half the guys I played with over the years anyway.”
Hayne then reminded the waiting media that even though the rape conviction was overturned, he received multiple nominations for The Fronwlow Medal in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021, and was thus a worthy winner.
“You guys forget that I was pictured on social media with known criminals, and I was mixed up in that drive by shooting in King’s Cross once. Plus, I got into a pub fight at the Cross, and I was fined $1000 for biting a woman on the arm at a nightclub – yeah, youz all forget about that hey!”
“But, nah, you always wanna talk about me getting accused of rape in the US, when I tried out for NFL, but I was never found guilty of that. And you don’t wanna talk about the time I was talking to school kids about cyber safety and stuff (like how to avoid creepy guys on dating apps) and these pornographic images appeared on the screen. I mean, at least those kids were paying attention for once”
The former NSW and Australia star then reminded the media that he must face a retrial soon, and that he could still be found guilty and be returned to prison.
“So, nah, there’s no way I’m givin’ back this medal.”
Image: Dan Peled