Who wins in a head to head battle between Payne Haas and Marcelo Montoya?
Both NRL players recently earned nominations for The Frownlow Medal for separate incidents and received different punishments.
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.
So, who comes out on top, the prop or the winger?
Let’s examine the incidents.
Warriors winger Montoya called Kyle Feldt a ‘fa//ot’ during a recent game against the North Queensland Cowboys and received a four week suspension for a homophobic slur. Feldt is married with children and there is no suspicion that he is gay. In addition, Feldt has been playing in the NRL for many years, and has played State of Origin for Queensland. He has given and taken sledges before, and has no doubt developed a thick skin. Yet, Montoya claims he was simply trying to get under Feldt’s skin and put him off his game when he used the term. Did it work against such an experienced player?
Also, how many members of the public actually heard Montoya use the word?
Furthermore, if Feldt is not gay, as we can rightly assume, is a homophobic slur actually offensive? Yes, it’s offensive to gay men throughout the world, but is it actually offensive to Feldt?
Haas, meanwhile, received a one week suspension for alcohol-fuelled violence. He got drunk and punched his own teammate, Albert Kelly, in the head during a physical altercation. He was also fined $10,000, despite the fact that he has a record. He received two prior Frownlow nominations; for refusing to cooperate with the NRL Integrity Unit in 2019, and for intimidating police in 2021.
Kelly was also suspended for one week, and fined $5000, for his part in the fight, and is also known to The Frownlow Medal.
Four weeks for a homophobic slur. One week for alcohol fuelled violence.