Can the Penrith Panthers be trusted?

Judges of The Fronwlow Medal are deciding whether the Penrith Panthers can be trusted to care for the most prestigious prize in Australian sport after they damaged the NRL premiership trophy.

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 AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.

The NRL has launched an investigation after images showed the Norm Provan and Arthur Summons section of the trophy separated from the base of the original trophy. The iconic statue was then photographed being treated like a baby and put in a children’s stroller, as well as being rocked in a shoulder strap while the Panthers celebrated their premiership win.

Further angering the NRL and rugby league fans were the captions such as “googoo gaga” and “dad duties” which accompanied the photos.

The premiership trophy is apparently worth $30,000. The Fronwlow Medal is priceless.

Penrith is not the first club to be nominated for The Fronwlow Medal, which is normally reserved for individual players. AFL clubs West Coast Eagles, Collingwood Magpies and Adelaide Crows were nominated for racism. Meanwhile, the Panthers’ grand final opponents, the South Sydney Rabbitohs, were nominated for nominated for covering up the many indiscretions of Sam Burgess, and the Cronulla Sharks and Canterbury Bulldogs have also been nominated.

Will the Panthers get their hands on The Fronwlow Medal later this year?

Image: NuNa