Brits' view on BBC sports personality of the year?

I love Thomas, but I can’t help feeling sorry for Froome and the seeming lack of respect or acknowledgement he gets as a multi-tour winner.

Any thoughts on whether it’s his quiet persona or his lack of ‘Britishness’ that’s to blame?


He’s just not British though is he, OK he has an English mum and he rides for GB but he’s never here, didn’t grow up here and therefore I believe British people believe he doesn’t have enough affinity with the UK to consider him. He doesn’t deserve to be in the shortlist in my opinion.


Winning the Giro in the way that he did was pretty amazing, but there are lots of individuals who are missed out. I’d like to see Rachel Atherton get some wider recognition for her dominance in DH.
Apropos Froome’s nationality, his passport is British, he competes for Britain, not sure the man on the street gets a say in the matter. I’m he actually had a choice for which country to compete, and chose GB, I think that says enough.


This is the way the UK is. Always a thin veil of xenophobia and bitterness around success. Any excuse to stick the knife in and a lot of people will take it. Thomas is the golden boy for now but just wait for the slightest hint of a scandal and the media and its consumers will be braying for blood.

Not that it matters but as far as I’m concerned if someone represents or wants to represent the UK then it’s an honour for us. Froome gave us Tour wins. That means more to me than someone simply being born here and doing the same thing. He has endured extra difficulties and social pressures.

The arguments about him not spending much time here is symptomatic of the typical attitude certain types have here. Find the knife and twist it. Any excuse to demean someone aintead of looking at the positives.


I was delighted to to G win. He’s a very popular rider who remembers his roots.

Froome made no bones about the fact he used his nationality to gain a British racing licence. You just need to read his book. All the way through it until he gets that license he goes on about how proud he is to be Kenyan.

Geraint Thomas has done so much more than Froome to raise the profile of grassroots cycling in the UK. Other than win races Froome has done nothing. Geraint Thomas deserves that title much more than Chris Froome.


Cycling is still a pretty niche (although growing) sport over here. It’s TdF, Olympic dominance or nothing in the eyes of the general public.

People like Anderson and Yarnold make the list thanks to retirement and a footballer is on there because the (English) men’s team did better than expected.

Imho Froome is a fantastic sportsman and doesn’t get the recognition his achievements perhaps warrant. That’s probably more due to his fairly straight/boring public persona than where he was born.


I’m not British (but grew up there), but is the clue in Thomas winning and Froome not in the “Personality” bit? It’s not supposed to be best sportsperson, it’s Sports Personality of the Year, and Thomas is much more likeable as a media presence (I don’t know either personally).


I love to bash the brits as much as anyone (which is very easy with the Gammon lead brexit debacle), but one of the years Froome was beaten by Mo Farah, which doesn’t really tie into that particularly.

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One of the years.


Even the once beloved Mo is getting a solid bashing these days. There’s no debate here, if your background, skin tone or accent isn’t apropos, you better know your place and you’re fair game. Any goodwill is given begrudgingly and with conditions attached.

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I agree that there is still this problem in British/English sport - I’ve witnessed lots of debate in Rugby about ‘adopted’ international players who “aren’t really English”.

It doesn’t make sense to me, given how multicultural Britain is and has been for years.

On the flipside there is lots of appropriation going on too. The old story of Andy Murray being British when he wins and Scottish when he loses is also true.

That use of the word has nothing to do with the person’s personality. In this use they are a ‘sports personality’ which is the same as ‘sports star’.


But isn’t that usually when they have been parachuted in through a qualifying grandparent? It happened a fair bit in wales under Graham Henry, and didn’t end well for a few players.

I think G was a deserving winner; however, I think it is disappointing that Lucy Charles wasn’t considered after another amazing Kona performance.

Sometimes through heritage, sometimes through residency. Either way if you are eligible for citizenship/passport then I don’t see the problem?

It might not be a sustainable way to run an international sports team but the idea that someone isn’t a True Scotsman is silly imho.

Yeah, this is basically the reason. Wiggins and G grew up here, rode for local clubs etc. so the public can relate to them much more. Plus they’re better value in interviews.

It’s the man in the street that votes for this award though :wink:

Nah. In fairness Mo Farah has been one of our most loved sports stars. There was a bit of a cloud over him with the Alberto Salazar accusations, but on the whole the British press has been largely positive towards him.

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Best rider the UK has ever seen. One of the best ever. Puts flag against their name, competes for a country, wins multiple grand tours, stands on a podium and listens to the national anthem countless times. Awarded and accepted an OBE.

But, nah, he isn’t British. :roll_eyes:

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I think this is a bit negative.
Thomas got the award because it’s not about who is the best ever sportsman it’s about being a “Sports Personality”, whatever the hell that is. In many ways it’s about being like a “normal” person you can identify with - Just a guy you might know from your village.
In the case of Froome it’s because he doesn’t feel British, because he’s not. He grew up in Kenya and lives in Europe somewhere.

I much prefer qualification through residency than by heritage.

The problem with the tartan/Welsh kiwis was the feeling that they were kiwi through and through, born, grew up, came through the system, played for all the under age teams, but were’t quite good enough to make it as an All Black. So they came to europe to earn a living and after 3 years qualified to play for their host nation. I believe the rules have changed now, but that doesn’t seem right. On the other hand, there were others who moved country as children, came through the age groups etc and qualify by residency. That seems like they actually have an “adopted country”, the 3 year brigade just seemed like a flag of convenience.

Froome is a brilliant cyclist. He’s clearly the best GC rider of his generation. His persona is really guarded, he has a difficult relationship with the press, and even without the goings on around Salbutamol, he feels like a difficult person to like. Thomas has a carefully cultivated persona of the cheeky chappie boy next door who likes a pint and would be a great laugh to hang out with. It makes him so much easier to vote for. Plus, there’s always an element of the Celtic nations voting for “their own” when there’s a chance of them winning. Froome doesn’t have a natural constituency of easy voted in the same way.


Weirdly some people do have their own criteria about who’s British enough, but I think Thomas’ past Olympic success is a bigger factor here. It’s voted for by people who watch sport on th BBC not by hardcore fans