Payne Haas vs Marcelo Montoya.

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.

Image: NuNa

Marcelo Montoya challenges Israel Folau.

NRL player Marcelo Montoya has challenged Israel Folau for the title of Australia’s most homophobic footballer after an offensive slur earned him a nomination for The Frownlow 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.

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.

Montoya called opposing winger Kyle Feldt a ‘fa//ot’ during a game against the North Queensland Cowboys, and the New Zealand Warriors winger received a four-match ban from the NRL.

Folau is the country’s most famous homophobe after posting notoriously offensive comments on social media which saw him sacked by Rugby Australia and cast out of professional football in Australia.

Montoya, meanwhile, claims the comment was made in the heat of the moment during a game and that he was simply trying to get under Feldt’s skin. Feldt is married with kids and has played years of NRL football, including State of Origin. Did it get under his skin?

The Warriors club pleaded for a reduced sentence from the NRL judiciary, arguing that Montoya is of good character with an unblemished record. They’re obviously forgetting his earlier Fronwlow nomination in 2018 when he was fined $10,000 for his involvement in the Canterbury Bulldogs Mad Monday celebrations.

Has Montoya done enough to steal the title from Folau, and has he done enough to win The Frownlow Medal in 2022?

Image: Ian Hitchcock