Former AFL player Andrew Lovett is the latest footballer to join The Fronwlow Medal Wife Beaters club after pleading guilty to assaulting a woman. Lovett also earns a Wife Beater Tattoo.
The club comprises footballers who have been found guilty of violence against women, and have been nominated for The Frownlow Medal or The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
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 NRL star Jarryd Hayne 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.
Lovett pleaded guilty to the assault which occurred in 2011 on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. The court heard that the woman had taken Lovett in when he was homeless, and that the assault started after Lovett discovered the woman had told someone that he sold his medals to fund his alcohol and gambling addictions. One of the medals was from the Anzac Day game in 2005.
Lovett then reportedly smashed the woman’s phone before grabbing the victim by the throat and throwing her to the ground numerous times. He also held her down on the couch, while her baby slept nearby. The woman was left with neck and chest injuries, he was given a $2500 fine and escaped prison time.
The Frownlow Medal Wife Beaters Club contains winners of The Frownlow Medal, including Jarryd Hayne and Elijah Taylor. Hayne won the medal in 2021 after being found guilty of sexual assault and sent to prison, while Taylor was found guilty of domestic violence and kicked out of the AFL.
Many footballers have also been inducted into The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame as a result of their crimes. Nick Stevens served time behind bars for viciously assaulting his former partner, and Craig Wells was also imprisoned for drugging and raping a teenage girl, after he had played for the Wallabies. Other members of this not-so-exclusive club are still playing in their respective codes, are still winning premierships, are still being selected in representative teams and are still being praised as role models to young people.
The Frownlow Medal Wife Beaters Club: