Arlene Foster: Jonathan Rea omission from BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist is an ‘absolute disgrace’

The decision not to include Jonathan Rea in the UK Sports Personality of the Year shortlist has been branded an “absolute disgrace” by First Minister Arlene Foster.

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 10:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 11:42 am
Jonathan Rea won the World Superbike Championship for a record sixth time at Estoril in Portugal.

Ballyclare rider Rea won the World Superbike championship for a record-breaking sixth time in a row in October.

After sports pundit Liam Beckett described the SPOTY awards as having “lost all credibility,” Mrs Foster told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme she backed that assessment.

“Can I just say how much I agree with Liam Beckett on the Jonathan Rea issue,” she said.

First Minister Arlene Foster. Presseye

“I think it’s an absolute disgrace and, like him, I shall not be watching Sports Personality of the Year this year.

“For me, Jonathan Rea is the sports personality of the year.”

The shortlist of six contenders has been announced as: cricketer Stuart Broad; jockey Hollie Doyle; boxer Tyson Fury; Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton; Liverpool footballer Jordan Henderson and snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Voting will be open to the public during the SPOTY programme which is being broadcast live from the Media City studies in Salford on Sunday, December 20.

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