Josh Curran is a footballer’s footballer.

Josh Curran is old style. He runs hard, tackles hard, parties hard and rocks a mullet. He also earned his Frownlow nomination the old-fashioned way.

While some footballers are disgracing themselves on social media, protesting climate change or punching Uber drivers, the New Zealand Warriors forward got himself into a good ol’ pub fight.

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.

Curran got into a brawl at a pub in Port Macquarie on the NSW mid-north coast, which allegedly left a teenage boy with facial injuries and a few missing teeth. The melee took place on grand final night at a club called Level Up, and that’s what Curran has been doing all year. He’s been told to level up against some of the biggest, baddest men in the game and to live up to his heroes, and his mullet. Only this time he attracted the attention of the police, the NRL Integrity Unit and the judges of The Fronwlow Medal.

Curran will be glad to hear that his retro style will be more than welcome at the awards night for The Fronwlow Medal and The Fronwlow Medal Hall of Fame later this year, where nominees can enjoy some good old-fashioned bonding.

Image: NuNa

What makes Mark McLinden different?

Mark McLinden is the first footballer to earn a Frownlow nomination for the right reasons. The former NRL player is a candidate for The Fronwlow Medal Hall of Fame after invading the pitch at the NRL Grand Final to protest against fossil fuels.

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.

McLinden ran onto the pitch during the game between the Eels and the Panthers and ripped the padding off one of the goal posts. He then dodged a few security officers before being caught and escorted from the ground. He was fined $5000 and banned from future games.

It was later revealed that the former Canberra Raiders player was wearing a bike lock around his neck, and a T-Shirt which read:

“End coal, gas and oil” on the front, and “For our kids” on the back.

He was also desperate to get onto the field during a grand final – something he never did as a player – and that’s why he was wearing footy boots.

Hundreds of players have been nominated for Frownlow honours since 2015, but usually for destroying their own lives or the lives of others. McLinden is the first player to call attention to companies which are destroying the planet.

He also posted on social media before the grand final:

‘The world’s climate scientists have concluded that the continuing burning of coal, gas and oil is causing catastrophic ecosystem loss and climate change. As a result, the stable climate that humans have enjoyed for the last 10,000 years is becoming unstable before our eyes. The floods, fires, heatwaves and droughts will only get worse unless we stand up against the fossil fuel industry and demand that they pay for the carbon they emit.’

‘In addition, they must phase out its use to be replaced with renewable energy far quicker than governments have allowed. Climate scientists are turning to activism due to the lack of action from governments. I stand for science. I stand with scientists, and have joined them in activism.’

‘I encourage you to do the same. Our kids and grandkids are relying on it.’

Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Luciano Leilua nominated for The Frownlow Medal.

NRL player Luciano Leilua has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal after being charged with assault and property damage.

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 Queensland Cowboys back rower was charged with common assault and damaging or destroying property, during an incident involving a woman known to him. The alleged incident occurred in Sydney and could harm Leilua’s chances of playing for Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup later this year.

Image: NuNa

Dustin Martin gets even more creepy.

Dustin Martin has earned his second nomination for The Fronwlow Medal in 2022 with a video that is even more creepy than the act which earned him his first nomination of the year.

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 AFL hero appears in a video sent to the children of a man who is accused of assaulting their mother.

The Whatsapp video was allegedly sent on behalf of Victorian construction union head John Setka, who has been accused of domestic violence against his estranged wife, who is in crisis care. In the video, Martin offers to take the children out for lunch when he gets back from holidays, and the woman believes it was an attempt to pressure her children, who are Richmond Tigers fans.

Sources from within the union movement stated that Setka had no contact with Martin “and definitely didn’t ask him or ask anyone else to get a video made.”

Setka also denies the allegations of violence, while the domestic violence organisation said in writing that Setka posed an “imminent risk” to the family’s safety. The estranged wife stated:

“I’ve ceased contact between him and the children because of the effect his verbal and emotional abuse is having on the children,” she said. “Yet John Setka is still trying to contact me via WhatsApp and via Dustin Martin.”

Martin’s video proves that Australian children should be vaccinated against professional footballers, and is even more creepy than his first scandal of the year. On the eve of a final’s match between Richmond and Brisbane, an old video was released which showed Martin touching a woman’s bare breasts from behind before walking away laughing. The amateur video, which was taken in a club many years ago, earned Martin the nickname Titty Fiddler.

Image: Getty Images

Alastair Clarkson nominated for The Fronwlow Medal, again.

Former AFL player Alastair Clarkson has received his second nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame due to his involvement in the Hawthorn Hawks racism 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.

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.

The ABC has revealed that senior coaches and officials made exceptional demands on Indigenous players all for the sake of winning football games. The allegations involve Clarkson and his assistant at the time, Chris Fagan.

During the time in which Hawthorn won four premierships, the club is accused of bullying, removing First Nations players from their homes and relocating them, and telling them to choose between their careers and their families.

Clarkson is also accused of coercing players to remove SIM cards and insert new ones in attempts to cut them off from their partners and focus them entirely on the club. In each case, the player was a young First Nations draftee in his first five years with the club.

Furthermore, the premiership-winning coach was accused of intimidating players and attempting to separate couples at the earliest stages of pregnancies and parenthood, and demanding that one player should instruct his partner to terminate a pregnancy. It is also alleged Clarkson insisted on visiting a player’s house and offered commentary on the house’s cleanliness.

As a result of the alleged bullying, two of the families have recently been provided with mental health assistance from the AFL Players’ Association due to the suicide risks associated with reliving their traumas for the sake of the official review into the accusations.

Clarkson has also been nominated for Frownlow honours before. In 2017, he was nominated for the hall of fame for verbally abusing a 19-year-old match official at his son’s footy game, punching a hole in the wall of a coaches box, calling a journalist a ‘cockhead’ and grabbing the throat of a fan outside a pub.

Image: Getty Images

Hawthorn Hawks nominated for The Frownlow Medal.

Hawthorn Hawks AFL club has been nominated for The Fronwlow Medal after shocking revelations about its treatment of Indigenous players.

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 ABC has revealed that senior coaches and officials made exceptional demands on Indigenous players all for the sake of winning football games. The allegations involve then coaches Alistair Clarkson and Chris Fagan.

During the time in which Hawthorn won four premierships, the club is accused of the following acts:

Bullying.

Removing First nations players from their homes and relocating them, telling them to choose between their careers and their families.

Coaches coercing players to remove SIM cards from their phones and insert new ones in attempts to cut them off from their partners and focus them entirely on the club. In each case, the player was a young First Nations draftee in his first five years with the club.

Intimidation tactics including attempts to separate couples at the earliest stages of pregnancies and parenthood, and the alleged demand that one player should instruct his partner to terminate a pregnancy.

Allegations that Hawthorn has only offered them assistance since becoming aware of ABC Sport’s investigation, and that the club has made no public comment on the report’s findings despite being in receipt of the allegations for weeks.

As a result of the alleged bullying, two of the families have recently been provided with mental health assistance from the AFL Players’ Association due to the suicide risks associated with reliving their traumas for the sake of the review.

One unnamed player alleges that when he told his teammates and coaches that his partner was pregnant, Clarkson and Fagan took him into an office and urged him to “get rid” of his partner, move into the home of an assistant coach and “kill my unborn kid.” He was also told to remove his SIM card so he had no contact with his family.

“They told me I’d be living with one of the other coaches from that night onwards.”

The player’s phone was disconnected and his family did not know where he was.

Hawthorn officials refused a request to meet the player’s partner in her home. Instead, they made the player meet his partner outside in the street. The club claimed the partner’s father was a threat to the player.

The club did not allow the player to meet his partner at all.

The woman was told that the club had decided it was better for his footy career if he didn’t become a father. She was also told to contact the club, and not her partner, for any matter relating to the pregnancy.

The couple was allegedly forced to move house when the woman was 37 weeks pregnant.

Allegations that Clarkson insisted on visiting the player’s house and offered commentary on the house’s cleanliness.

The couple feeling pressured into the decision to terminate a subsequent pregnancy.

Reports that the player later attempted suicide.

Allegations that another player was told to break up with his partner, and that Clarkson, Fagan and a club official did so at the player’s home.

In response to the allegations, Hawthorn said:

“Earlier this year the Hawthorn Football Club engaged external First Nations consultants to liaise with current and former First Nations players and staff to learn more about their experience at the club,” the statement began.

“This important work has raised disturbing historical allegations that require further investigation. Upon learning of these allegations, the club immediately engaged AFL Integrity as is appropriate.

Hawthorn is not the first football club to be nominated for Frownlow honours, and not the first club to be nominated for racism. Collingwood was also found to have mistreated Indigenous players and to have covered up that mistreatment. All of this took place since the AFL introduced an Indigenous round.

Clarkson has also been nominated for Frownlow honours before. In 2017 he was nominated for the hall of fame for verbally abusing a 19-year-old match official at his son’s footy game, punching a hole in the wall of a coaches box, calling a journalist a ‘cockhead’ and grabbing the throat of a fan outside a pub.

The question is, after this saga and the Collingwood saga, plus the treatment of Adam Goodes and other Indigenous players, will anything change?

Image: Hawthorn Hawks

Brandon Smith puts bros before hoes.

Roosters players will be pleased to know that their new recruit Brandon Smith will always put them before their WAGs. Smith recently landed himself in controversy after admitting that he lied to police in order to protect a former teammate accused of violence against women, and he has earned his second nomination for The Fronwlow Medal.

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 admitted to lying to police about a witness statement he signed in regards to accusations of domestic violence against former Melbourne Storm teammate Curtis Scott. Scott is currently facing court for multiple charges of abusing his former girlfriend, and has also been nominated for Frownlow honours on numerous occasions.

Scott was arrested after allegations of physical and verbal abuse of his former partner during a two-year relationship. The charges include four counts of common assault, stalk or intimidate with the intention of causing fear or physical harm, intentionally choke a person without consent, two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and intentionally choke a person with recklessness. He has pleaded not guilty.

During the police investigation, Smith said he thought some questions on the statement were “anti-Curtis”, and that he was pressured into signing a statement by his own girlfriend, saying:

“Savannah’s obviously on Tay’s side,” he said. “I feel like they were constantly talking and trying to get me to sign (the statement),” he said.

The police prosecutor also supported the notion that Smith puts bros before hoes.

“He doesn’t want to be seen as a person who goes against his teammates,” she said.

“His reputation could be quite damaged in a team environment for ‘dogging’ on a teammate.”

The prosecutor also asked the hooker/backrower if as an NRL player his role was to be an “upstanding member of the community”.

The number of NRL players who have been nominated for Frownlow honours since 2015 would suggest this is not the case.

Smith was also among his bros when he earned his first Fronwlow nomination in 2021, after being filmed partying a little too hard at the end of the Storm’s season.

Image: Getty Images

Chris Sandow just wants to be a role model.

Former NRL player Chris Sandow is so desperate to be a good role model that he got himself arrested and earned his second nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.

Sandow is in custody after being charged with a string of offences including assaulting a police officer, and is arguing that the behaviour stemmed from a career in rugby league which makes him a role model for children.

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.

The former halfback has been refused bail, for a second time, after being charged with serious assault of a police officer causing bodily harm, serious assault of a police officer or person acting in aid of a police officer, two counts of obstructing police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, two counts of driving without a licence, and evasion. He was arrested at his home in Ipswich in late August and has been in custody since.

In an effort to be relased from custody, his lawyer tried every excuse that a rugby league player can think of.

He told the judge Sandow had a distinguished NRL career.

He blamed the behaviour on repeated head knocks during Sandow’s time with the Rabbitohs and Eels.

He argued that Sandow is determined to be a good role model to children.

He claimed Sandow wanted to re-engage with his culture.

He reminded the judge that Sandow is a very talented footballer.

The judge was not convinced.

Perhaps because Sandow has already been nominated for Frownlow honours. In 2016, he was involved in a drunken street brawl in his home town of Cherbourg in Queensland.

Sandow now has until the end of the year to convince the judges of The Fronwlow Medal that he deserves to be inducted into the hall of fame.

Image: NuNa

Zaine Cordy gets his 15 minutes.

Zaine Cordy is a good AFL player. Not great. He has played at the highest level for Western Bulldogs and won a premiership in 2016, but he won’t go down as one of the greats. That’s why he is so elated to have earned his 15 minutes of fame and a nomination for The Frownlow Medal.

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.

Cordy chose Mad Monday to grab his 15 minutes, and got so drunk that he was photographed slumped on the wall of the pub in Melbourne before being carried into a taxi by Bulldogs teammates.

Getting drunk at a Mad Monday celebration is mild compared to other actions which have earned Fronwlow nominations, and that is why Cordy will only be famous for 15 minutes.

Once he recovers from his hangover, Cordy still has 4 months to impress judges of The Frownlow Medal, which will be awarded later this year.

Image: NuNa

Captain Cubicle and the Titty Fiddler.

Captain Cubicle and the Titty Fiddler lead the contenders for The Fronwlow Medal as the winter codes head into the 2022 finals.

Kalyn Ponga and his trusty servant Kurt Mann join Dustin Martin and a cast of footballing role models who have excelled themselves off the field – but neither are favourites to win the prestigious medal.

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.

Ponga and Mann were filmed being escorted out of a toilet cubicle in Newcastle. They were fully clothed, with drinks in hand, and claimed that Mann was helping his captain to vomit after consuming too many drinks to celebrate a house purchase. This was later found to be a lie, and the real reason was never revealed. While neither player was punished, the incident ended a horrible season for Ponga’s Knights.

This was not the first Fronwlow nomination for Mann or Ponga, nor for the Titty Fiddler. Martin appeared in a leaked video appearing to (allegedly) touch a woman’s breast from behind during a social gathering at an entertainment venue. The video was apparently taken in 2015, but released the day before Richmond’s crucial finals game against Brisbane, prompting concern for Martin and the Tigers heading into the game, but not for the woman who was (allegedly) touched without consent. As we learned in previous seasons, Martin is not the only Richmond player who likes to fondle other people’s private parts.

George Burgess of the St George Illawarra Dragons was also in trouble for (allegedly) touching a woman without consent, but is waiting for the outcome of his court case.

Martin was allowed to play in the final, despite the video, as was Taylan May, who was caught on CCTV assaulting a man at a bar in Brisbane in 2021, but cleared to play for Penrith in the crucial NRL final against arch rivals Parramatta, and allowed to delay his two-match suspension until 2023.

Frownlow favourite Jordan de Goey made his annual bid for glory. The Collingwood star was nominated in 2017, 2018 and 2020, and 3 times in 2021. He has also earned two nominations in 2022. He appears in a lewd video in which someone tries to expose a woman’s breasts in a bar in Bali, then blames the media for mistreating him and resorts to the hashtag ‘Enough is Enough’ to avoid punishment. The hashtag is used to support victims of mass shootings in the USA. He then blamed mental health issues and ADHD for his behaviour.

Bailey Smith also cited mental health issues to justify his latest indiscretion. The Golden Mullet was punished for appearing in a social media post holding a bag of white powder, and is no stranger to Frownlow judges or the darker corners of social media.

The AFL an NRL stars listed above have all put their hand up and done the hard yards to win the Frownlow this year, but none of them are favourite. The favourite helped earn nominations for Manly trio Josh Schuster, Josh Aloiai and Haumole Olakau’atu, who used a televised NRL game to show support for their friend Manase Fainu.

Fainu is the favourite (at the time of writing) after he was recently found guilty of stabbing a man outside a Mormon Church dance in Sydney in 2019. He will never play NRL again and might have to accept the medal from behind bars, where he will have plenty of time to pray.

Fainu should feel confident about winning the biggest prize in Australian sport, but should not start celebrating. A week is a long time in football, so four months is plenty of time to make a run for The Fronwlow Medal. What’s more, we haven’t heard any reports of scandalous behaviour from AFL and NRL Mad Monday celebrations…yet.

Image: Getty Images