Rugby League Players Association is criticized for shortlisting Warriors star for prestigious award despite being banned for hitting an opponent with a sick homophobic bouncer
- The RLPA has been criticized for its ridiculously large list of nominees for 64 players
- The championship prize does not deduct points from players for suspensions
- Marcelo Montoya was even selected by being sidelined for four weeks for calling Kyle Feldt a ‘f***ot’
A winger who has played just 18 games, scored just six tries and was sidelined for a month for a homophobic taint is in the running to be named the best player in the NRL.
New Zealand Warrior’s back Marcelo Montoya’s inclusion on the Rugby League Players Association’s [RLPA] The 64-name Players Champion Award nominees list has highlighted the ridiculousness of the selection process.
Despite being an impossible long shot, Montoya could hypothetically be crowned players’ champion despite the insult from the 26-year-old in which he told North Queensland Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt to ‘get up, you f***ot’ .
Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya sent to the sin bin during New Zealand’s third round against the Tigers
The Kiwi was banned for four games by the NRL for his homophobic slur in the fifth round, which the Warriors won 25-24.
Under NRL rules, the Dally M points system deducts players for suspensions, while in AFL players are banned from the race for the Brownlow Medal if found guilty of an on-field offense.
Regardless of Montoya’s suspension, as a player, his stats and roster for the top gong are questionable anyway.
Clint Newtown, CEO of RLPA, addresses the media in March – the association has nominated 64 players for the championship award
The 2021 recruit, who was recruited from the Bulldogs, played 18 games all season, scoring six tries.
Montoya has averaged just over 100 yards per game, and while he’s been a decent performer for an overly inconsistent Warriors outfit, he’s nowhere near the game’s elite.
Senior News Corp journalist Peter Badel said Montoya had ‘a better chance of winning Powerball than the Players’ Champion’ [Award]’.
RLPA organizations should immediately scratch Montoya, leaving only 63 contenders for the Players’ Champion.
The list of contenders consists of four players from each club, with the club determining three of their own stars and the RLPA board choosing the final player.
Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans is the general chairman of the RLPA, while co-stars Wade Graham, Christian Welch and Josh Hodgson have directorial roles.
Montoya is tackled by Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt during round five at Brisbane’s Moreton Stadium – the Warriors flyer later called Feldt a ‘f***ot’
Tohu Harris, Wayde Egan and Addin Fonua-Blake were named alongside Montoya, while the minor prime ministers were the Panthers, captains Nathan Cleary and Isaah Yeo, plus silent achievers Apisai Koroisau and Dylan Edwards.
The 90-game 2017 Bulldogs rookie of the year pleaded guilty after his charges, telling the judiciary that this would never happen again.
“I acknowledge and accept that the comment I made Friday night is completely unacceptable,” Montoya said on a video link.
“If you know the person I am, you’d know this is completely out of place. I completely regret my actions.
In saying all this I would like to apologize to Kyle Feldt, the NRL and the gay community, and anyone I have offended, as I know and respect the work the NRL has done to promote inclusiveness and diversity within the NRL community.”
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo addresses the media at a press conference in August – in the Dally M system, the NRL deducts points from players for suspensions during the season
Two weeks after Montoya’s suspension, the Warriors were beaten 70-10 by the Storm, where Xavier Coates scored four times.