Fondlers, Teachers, Rapists (?) and Breachers battle for The Frownlow Medal.

The Frownow Medal has become a battle between the Breachers, the Teachers, the Fondlers and three alleged rapists in 2020, and the winner will be announced in a matter of weeks. While the nominees prepare for the awards night for The Frownlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, we take a look at the favourites for the most prestigious award in Australian sport.

Elijah Taylor is favourite at the time of writing. The AFL player pleaded guilty to physically assaulting his partner and has already been awarded a Wife Beater tattoo, as well as being fined and dropped by the Sydney Swans.

Taylor is not in prison, but NRL players Jarryd Hayne, Jack de Belin and Tristan Sailor could be. Hayne is currently in court for alleged sexual assault of a woman, and will be hard to beat if he is found guilty. Sailor and de Belin face similar charges but may not complete their court cases in 2020, so may have to hope for Frownlow glory in 2021.

Manase Fainu is also waiting for the courts to decide his fate. The rookie NRL player is still up on charges of stabbing someone – at a church dance.

The (alleged) rapists also have to contend with the Teachers and the Breachers.

NRL players Jayden Okunbor and Corey Harawira-Naera are the Teachers. They offered private study sessions to teenage girls they met on an official Canterbury Bulldogs school visit, and were sacked by the NRL. They were later welcomed back into the NRL, as the girls were of legal age, and because the girls drastically improved their grades.

A total of 31 players breached strict COVID-19 protocols this year, and earned Frownlow nominations as a result. The most famous was Nathan Cleary, whose performance on TikTok impressed fans more than his performance for the Panthers in the Grand Final. Lachie Hunter’s breach included alcohol abuse, fleeing the scene, drink driving and smashing into parked cars, including one that belonged to his girlfriend’s parents – awkward.

Footy Fondlers

AFL players clearly have a fascination with other players’ private parts. Cameras caught Nick Vlastuin, Jack Riewoldt, Jayden Short, Dan Butler, Jayden Hunt and Christian Petracca practising their handballs with their teammates.

Dual nominee

Tyson Stengle earned two nominations in one year. The first for drink driving in an unregistered car while disqualified from driving, and the second for possession of illicit drugs.

Yet again, AFL and NRL players dominate the nominations for The Frownlow Medal. Rugby Union and Football players did not earn a single nomination, while the NRL earned 31 and the AFL 23. Will Taylor become the first player to win the award outright for the AFL?

Image: NuNa

Christian Petracca and Jayden Hunt enjoy a Frownlow fondle.

Melbourne Demons players Christian Petracca and Jayden Hunt are the latest AFL players to earn a Frownlow nomination for inappropriate touching of a teammate. The players were caught on camera fondling each other’s private parts while their coach spoke to the the team on the field during the three-quarter break.

The incident earned the pair a nomination for The Frownlow Medal and comes just weeks after their AFL colleagues, especially from the Richmond Tigers, were caught, criticised and punished for doing exaclty the same thing.

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 player Ben Barba is the most recent recipient.

In the footage, Hunt appears to poke Petracca “in the centre square” and Petracca seems to enjoy the sensation so much that he returns the favour to Hunt.

The AFL players issued a statement to the press apologising to the public. Even their captain, Max Gawn, was forced to roll out the tired line that AFL players are role models with a responsibility to the AFL and the wider community.

The pair then spoke exclusively to The Frownlow Medal.

“Coach told us to improve our hand balls,” claimed Hunt.

“So this is what we did.”

“He told us to get our hands on the ball more often, to get right in there and punch some holes through the middle, because at that time Essendon were still really strong and it was a tough game. We don’t really know what the fuss is about. AFL is a physical game and a contact sport. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty”

The Demons currently sit outside the top eight, in ninth position, so it appears that their teammates’ crown jewels are the only silverware they will get their hands on this year.

Image: NuNa