Former NRL player Paul Mares earned himself a nomination for The Fronwlow Medal Hall of Fame as well as a legion of fans after driving away from a random breath test.
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.
Mares was filmed via police body cam arguing with an officer on a country road in NSW. He swore endlessly at the officer and demanded his name and badge number, before calling the officer by his first name.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Mares also accused the officer, called Graham, of having an affair with his ex-wife. Graham then asks Mares if he has consumed alcohol or drugs recently, Mares swears at him again and the officer informs the ex-Parramatta player he is going to conduct a random breath test.
The argument ends with Mares speeding away from the scene and the officer yelling after him to stop.
The refusal to do the breath test and his aggression towards the officer won Mares many fans when the footage was released on social media. Random Aussies accused the officer of unfair treatment, harassment and aggression, before some made comments about COVID-19 conspiracy theories including vaccination and mask mandates, proving that a lot of Australians really hate cops.