Former NRL player Mark O’Neill is free to attend the Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame awards ceremony after his alleged misconduct resulted in him being sacked as general manager of football at the Wests Tigers.
O’Neill once served on the NRL match review committee, but it his off-field actions which will now be under scrutiny.
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. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015.
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 Todd Carney.
O’Neill won a premiership with the Tigers in 2005, but could leave the club as something less than a hero.
His only concession may well be a place in the Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame, whose inductees will be announced in the coming weeks.