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

Jarryd Hayne refuses to return The Frownlow Medal.

Judges of The Frownlow Medal are demanding that NRL star Jarryd Hayne hand back the medal he won in 2021 after he was freed from prison on bail.

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.

Hayne won the prestigious award after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman on NRL grand final night in 2018, but was recently released from Cooma Correctional Centre after having the convictions quashed. He will face a retrial in the near future.

Frownlow judges waited patiently outside the prison to take the medal from Hayne, but he was whisked away by his minders and taken straight to Hillsong Church where he was granted absolution. On the manicured lawns of the megachurch, he stood with the medal draped around his neck and issued a lengthy statement.

“Yep, I’ve still got it, and I’m not givin’ it to noone” he stated.

“It was in the paper bag they gave back to me when I walked out. I wanted to keep it in prison with me but they wouldn’t let me. It’s the most special and valuable thing I’ve ever owned. All the boys inside asked me about it and wanted to see it, and half of them reckon they should’ve won it instead of me ‘cos of all the crazy stuff they done, but I told ’em that they never played pro footy like I did, and they’re not as bad as half the guys I played with over the years anyway.”

Hayne then reminded the waiting media that even though the rape conviction was overturned, he received multiple nominations for The Fronwlow Medal in 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021, and was thus a worthy winner.

“You guys forget that I was pictured on social media with known criminals, and I was mixed up in that drive by shooting in King’s Cross once. Plus, I got into a pub fight at the Cross, and I was fined $1000 for biting a woman on the arm at a nightclub – yeah, youz all forget about that hey!”

“But, nah, you always wanna talk about me getting accused of rape in the US, when I tried out for NFL, but I was never found guilty of that. And you don’t wanna talk about the time I was talking to school kids about cyber safety and stuff (like how to avoid creepy guys on dating apps) and these pornographic images appeared on the screen. I mean, at least those kids were paying attention for once”

The former NSW and Australia star then reminded the media that he must face a retrial soon, and that he could still be found guilty and be returned to prison.

“So, nah, there’s no way I’m givin’ back this medal.”

Image: Dan Peled