Bailey Smith‘s chances of winning The Frownlow Medal have increased after more details of his off-field behaviour emerged. The AFL star recently earned his first nomination for a controversial social media image but apparently this is not his first scandal.
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.
Smith recently hit the headlines when an image went viral on social media showing him holding a bag of white powder and smiling. It is not clear what is in the bag, and there is no evidence Smith consumed the substance. Since that controversy, more details have emerged which increase his chances of beating the 19 other nominees for The Frownlow Medal in 2022.
The viral image was apparently taken at a party in late 2021, and at the same time another photo was taken showing Smith ‘wiping his nose after leaning over’. The implications are strong, although again nothing has been proven, and perhaps the Western Bulldogs player simply had a cold.
This is not all, however.
At the time the photos were taken, Smith was apparently on a mental health break from AFL, but took that break after an investigation into complaints that he was behaving badly at a Gold Coast club and had to be spoken to by authorities.
Also in 2021, Smith created yet more controversy just moments into his young career. He appeared in another social media video boasting of his intention to pursue temporary connections with various women during a night out with friends, and said so in a way that was in not at all romantic.
The behaviour of a true role model.
The social media star surrounded himself in controversy even earlier in his career when photos of him emerged on the internet apparently naked, or close to naked. Smith was not responsible for the photos, which had been doctored by someone else, but he famously reacted to the scandal by posting an emoji of an eggplant, and his many social media followers know exactly what that means.
Smith and his legion of fans are anxious to know if he will face consequences for his latest scandal, but the most important question is, has he done enough to win The Frownlow Medal?
Image: AAP, James Ross