The shortlist for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year has provoked shock and outrage at its distinct absence of female names. The list includes nominations for the likes of Mark Cavendish, Rory McIlroy, Andy Murray and Andrew Strauss. However, there has been a response from a number of people, speaking out about the people they feel have been unfairly sidelined.
Former Paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson said: “We have a huge number of home Olympic and Paralympic medallists who are women. But the media coverage is abysmal, the funding is abysmal and not enough girls are getting involved.”
The British Olympic Association is also said to be outraged, even considering boycotting the programme and refusing to attend. “The Sports Personality of the Year is a prestigious honour and, typically, the BBC does a fantastic job recognising truly deserving sports men and women. This year, however, there were some glaring omissions from the list”, a spokesperson commented.
Apparently, the BBC has reiterated that the same system is always used for nominations, therefore claiming the lack of female names is an occurrence made simply by chance.
Zara Phillips was the last female winner of the award back in 2006. This year’s programme will air live on the BBC, on Thursday 22nd December at 8pm.