Victor Radley will have to lie back and think of England next time he gets excited about representative football after learning that his soft hands are no longer welcome in the NSW dressing rooms.
Radley recently demonstrated his love for one of his Blues teammates, and the gesture has earned him 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.
Radley was issued with a suspended fine after being caught on camera performing a lewd act on Blues teammate Joseph Suaalii after the siren sounded on game 2 of State of Origin. He waited for the cameras to focus on him, then mimicked an explicit hand gesture on fellow Sydney Rooster Suaalii before reeling away laughing.
“Everyone wants to get their hands on young Joseph,” Radley said in his defence, “not just me. I was just showing him how much everyone in the Blues camp loves him and why he should stay in league and not go to union, no matter how much they pay him.”
“I took one for the team to try to make him a Blue for life. I don’t know if Joe’s into that sort of thing, but, you know, I’m here for him, whatever he needs. Plus, you know what, I don’t regret it, and I’ll do it in the Roosters dressing room as well if I have to. I’ll do it after every game, before every game and even at half time if I have to just to keep the young bloke in our sport.”
It may be Radley’s final act in a Blues jersey, as he recently declared his international allegiance to England and this could make him ineligible for State of Origin, and ineligible to share a representative dressing room with Suaalii.
Strangely enough, it is not as bizarre as Radley’s first Frownlow nomination. In 2021, he was nominated for tackling someone. Yes, a rugby league player was punished for tackling someone. The back-rower was suspended for two games after tackling a person in the street outside a house party in Byron Bay late one evening and issued with a suspended $20,000 fine.
Suaalii has not been invited to the awards night for The Fronwlow Medal and The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame later this year, but Radley is sure to find many more wayward footballers keen to live out their homoerotic fantasies.