Former AFL player Glenn Archer has been called an ‘absolute coward’ after running over a cyclist and earning another nomination for 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 Manase Fainu 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.
Archer ran over the cyclist in a Melbourne suburb and left the victim lying on the road. The North Melbourne legend did not stop to help the man, and later claimed he didn’t even know he had hit a cyclist with his truck.
The victim was hospitalised for two days after the incident and was left with severe injuries. He claims he is yet to receive a direct apology, and that Archer needs to:
“…man up and own his errors and, you know, show some remorse.”
The victim, Mark Vander, 58, broke three ribs while taking damage to a bone in his knee and four neck vertebrae. As a result, Archer has been charged with careless driving and failing to keep a safe distance when overtaking but insists he had no idea that he hit a cyclist at the time. He issued a public apology, but at the time of writing Vander was still waiting for a direct apology.
Footage of the incident has been viewed more than 200,000 times on social media, and Vander claims he was sent an unsigned email from the company to say the ‘driver has seen the footage, can he call you?
He says the email was ‘totally disingenuous’ and did not contain an apology.
Archer, meanwhile, hit back at the victim and argues that his calls to Archer’s office were believed to be a scam as someone was demanding money from him.
This is not Archer’s first brush with Frownlow fame. He was nominated for the hall of fame in 2017 for assaulting a runner at his son’s junior football game.
When a scuffle broke out between two players, Archer ran onto the ground, had a heated exchange with an umpire and ‘fended’ the runner, knocking his glasses to the ground. The Kangaroos favourite also appeared in court for assaults in 1994 and 1999.
Archer has been invited to the awards night for The Fronwlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame later this year, and has been invited to ride his bike.