Motorcycle community reacts to BBC Sports Personality of the Year revision
The BBC’s decision to modify the voting process for its Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) award has sparked outrage among the biking community.
The BBC revealed that the shortlist of nominees will only be announced on the evening of the event. The new approach could drastically reduce the likelihood of athletes participating in non-traditional or ‘niche’ sports – including motorcycle racing – being shortlisted.
It has been speculated that this amendment is due to World Superbike (WSBK) champion Jonathan Rea’s (pictured) unexpected rise to second place in 2017. Rea attracted over 80,000 votes only to lose out to distance runner Mo Farah.
The decision has come under fire by prominent figures in the biking community, and BMF Chairman Jim Freeman said: “Another example of the BBC media elite's high-handed attitude towards the views and attitudes of those who fill its already bulging coffers via the licence fee. Motorcycle sport obviously doesn't fit the narrow bandwidth BBC view of what constitutes proper sport – shame on the BBC for their antediluvian views.”
This year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year will take place on December 16.
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Picture credit: Jared Earle