The Andy Murray Sports Personality of the Year Debate
This is just a short little rant, but what’s the point in having my own tennis blog if I can’t use it to rant?
For those unfamiliar, there’s a bit of controversy surrounding Andy Murray (not a great deal, granted, but still) and his latest nomination for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. The controversy revolves around the fact that, in a year when he won Wimbledon, Olympic Gold, the ATP World Tour Finals, and became the number one player in the world, he is strongly expected to win it.
Well, he’s won it twice already. In an Olympic year that has seen many athletes achieve amazing things, is it fair to give Andy Murray another award when he’s already had two?
Yes. Yes it is.
Andy Murray Deserving?
The thing is, you’re talking about a man who may well have been the undisputed greatest tennis player of his time, had his time not coincided with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic’s time. It sucks for Andy to have missed out on so many accolades because he happened to be playing with potentially three of the greatest tennis players of all time, but that’s life.
Would it suck for great athletes like Mo Farrah if their own accomplishments went without a BBC award because they happened to achieve in the same year that Andy Murray did the impossible? Yes, it would suck, and in any other year Mo Farrah would have been a clear front runner (ha), but it’s not any other year.
It’s this year.
It’s the year Murray overturned an 8,000 point deficit in the rankings to claim the number one spot. The year he repeated the feat that got him the 2013 Sports Personality award by winning Wimbledon for a second time. The year he became the only person in history to win two gold medals in men’s singles tennis.
Now, I personally don’t put much stock in this award, and I don’t think it will hurt Murray’s ego too much to miss out on it. What bugs me is the politicising of a sporting accolade. Sport is supposed to be the ultimate meritocracy. Best man or woman wins, no bullshit. There are years when it’s a close call but this is not one of them, this year nobody came close to achieving what Andy Murray did.
But fine, make an argument that Mo Farrah’s achievement’s were greater, or that the ridiculously photogenic Olympic husband/wife combo of Jason and Laura Kenny deserve it more. Just don’t say Murray shouldn’t get it because he already has two, that shouldn’t be a factor at all.
He either deserves it or he doesn’t.