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While you're at it Mr Barton...

NEWS STORY
16/12/2014

Not all were happy with Lewis Hamilton being named the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.

Whilst F1 fans, in particular, were delighted at the two-time world champion being voted winner of the award, the first F1 driver to win it since Damon Hill in 1996, others were not.

Inevitably they took to Twitter to vent their outrage - don’t they always? - most feeling that golfer Rory McIlroy was the rightful winner.

Much of the anger at Hamilton being awarded the title comes from the fact that he lives in Monaco, partly for tax reasons.

Whilst the main criteria for the award is that it should go to the sportsperson "whose actions have most captured the public's imagination", the recipient must also either be British or reside and play a significant amount of their sport in the United Kingdom.

Amongst those that blasted the decision to award Hamilton the trophy, based on the fact that he resides in Monaco, was footballer Joey Barton.

"Can't believe they gave SPOTY to Hamilton," tweeted Barton. "1. Formula 1 is the most boring sport ever. 2. He brought a dog with him. 3. He's a tax exile.

"McIlroy, wins multiple golf Majors and Ryder Cup. Froch, boxing World champion," he continued. "In fact every other nominee was more deserving the Hamilton.

"Tax exile's should be exempt from winning trophies paid and voted for by the tax/licence payer. He should never have won. He is a terrible role model to any Britain. What precedent does that set. Bad day in our history."

Those familiar with Mr Barton will be aware that despite his 2.8 million followers on Twitter and the fact that some of the chattering classes appear to think he has something worthwhile to say, he is not what most would cite as a role model as a brief Google or a trip to Wikipedia will soon reveal.

Currently playing for Queens Park Rangers, just a couple spots from the bottom of the Premiership, if Mr Barton really wants to vent his moral indignation at income tax issues he could do worse than discuss the subject with team manager Harry Redknapp who has good experience of such matters.

Indeed, if he can get off his high horse long enough, and wants to discuss his outrage at how those with money are able to ride roughshod over the working masses, he could have a brief chat with ony Fernandes, there remain over 200 former Caterham employees who have a few questions for the QPR owner.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by gturner38, 19/12/2014 0:27

"Joey seems to have a lot of anger over a trophy nobody aspires to win. This type of award is an afterthought compared to winning championships on the track or pitch.

As for people being up in arms over the "personality" aspect of the award, it's only called that because "Sportsman of the Year" doesn't sound inclusive enough."

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2. Posted by Spindoctor, 18/12/2014 7:20

"I'm tempted to ask "Who cares?" SPOTY is just another banal time-filler, cheap TV to pacify the masses. The reaction to Lewis winning seems utterly disproportionate to the importance of the event. I don't recall this fuss when other drivers won this award, so I rather suspect that there is an unpleasant element to much of the comment.

Whatever one's point of view, LH was voted SPOTY, there's no objective rationale or any hidden agenda. Just as in any other vote, the result reflects the view of the people who voted, and nothing else.
Comments, about the "validity" of the outcome, owing to the "importance" of the sports or events won by the winner or by the favoured losers are simply irrelevant.

I'm not that impressed either by the disparaging use of the word "personality". Sportsmen & women aren't actors, politicians nor stand-up comedians. They express themselves in their sports.
I think most people find LH pretty eloquent in what he "says" on-track.

A sense of proportion is needed. LH is a brilliant driver, SPOTY is an inconsequential, pointless exercise. Winning it signifies only that a lot of people who voted wanted that result."

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3. Posted by JackTheCat, 17/12/2014 13:37

"Ah what's the point, it's tall poppy syndrome as per usual with the British media and people. Hamilton could probably come up with a solution to world peace and people would still find a reason to knock him! If you want to poke fun at your perception of his lack of personality or criticise him for caring about his fans then crack on. No wonder the bloke lives outside of this sad little country, I would too in his shoes!"

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4. Posted by Hondawho?, 17/12/2014 12:23

"I thought the award was for "sports personality of the year"? Will someone please tell me where the personality is? Is it the dog?"

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5. Posted by stoney, 17/12/2014 11:57

"Wow, JackTheCat - there's so many assumptions in your "the problem with people like you"'statement, that I wouldn't know where to start...! I absolutely do not value mediocrity - I hate it. I have a very high standard of excellence (ask my team at work...) - I'm more criticized for being too idealistic.

The discussion is a value discussion. Whether you agree or not, it is not his success that I have issue with. He has pursued a dream and achieved it - great for him. And like I said, as a racer, he deserves it. Hamilton's self-edification "for his fans" is something I find distasteful and markedly different from other drivers. And is what a "personality" award by nature draws into scope - not just achievement. But his values are popularist at the moment, which is why I understand the choice, but I think is a shame for such an award.

Just my opinion. I'm not saying I'm right, but please let's keep the discussion respectful.

And let's also separate this discussion on Hamilton from the suitability of other winners and the suitability of other commentators. Or we can probably all discount ourselves for one reason or another.

"

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6. Posted by JackTheCat, 17/12/2014 9:25

"stoney, what is wrong with having a dream of being successful enough to own a private jet and then when you achieve it shouting about it? Hamilton doesn't seem to be into drugs, get into fights, get accused of sexual assault, have an alcohol problem or be arrogant... all qualities that certain average 'celebrity' footballers seem to have in abundance these days.

The problem with people like you is you are like the PC authorities in wanting to knock people's success and aspire to the lowest common denominator. I hate the 'everyone is a winner' mentality as at the end of the day it celebrates mediocrity.

Hamilton may not be perfect, but fundamentally he seems a decent human being and while the SPOTY is a nonsense award I don't think there are many more deserving this year!"

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7. Posted by Paul C, 17/12/2014 3:51

"Formula One is exciting compared to Premier League football games and, especially, golf. I can watch all three in the USA on the same day sometimes. F1 still has them beaten hands down. Joey Barton is just jealous that he has to reside in England to play football."

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8. Posted by kiwi2wheels, 16/12/2014 22:06

"No way am I a Hamilton " fan " at ALL, but for a bottom grade footballer to run off at the mouth proves they are a very simple example of a human; two moving parts, both are interchangeable and produce the same " product "."

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9. Posted by stoney, 16/12/2014 21:22

"Whether making a judgement about a person's tax status is THE most important element young people without a true grasp of taxation will notice is, to me, doubtful.

He's a great racing driver and has achieved much.

But the man who does it for his (adoring) fans needs to learn to grow up a bit to properly carry such an honour. Tweeting a picture of him in front of his private jet, with the text "just a kid with a dream" makes a statement of what he values and aspires to. Unfortunately, by choosing Hamilton as SPOTY14, it also makes a reflection on what their judges value - or, probably more likely, what they think the public would / should value to ensure the award remains relevant (read popularist).

By selecting a "personality", it's equally about a person's character - something more than just their pure achievements, but something that indeed encapsulates character traits to which people can aspire to, learn from and ultimately grow and benefit from.

I'm not sure I want my children to aspire to what Hamilton represents. By contrast, another British champion went on to win by quietly paying his own plane tickets because he believed in his team and stuck with them. That shows humility, loyalty (despite being accused otherwise) among others...

sorry. </rant>."

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10. Posted by jcr, 16/12/2014 18:30

"It should be remembered that McIlroy has now declared himself to play for the Irish golf team at the Olympics,
Plus He lives in America, So i doubt if he fits any of the criteria.
Agree on the Fernandez though."

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11. Posted by scf1fan, 16/12/2014 17:59

"Just for grins, I'll throw in this additional argument against ALL superlative awards . . . So like winning the F1 Championship (or World Series, or Wembledon, or, etc., etc.) isn't enough in it's own right? There has to be another award, in essence, saying that one awardee is somehow better (in which ever way they are trying to judge - "most captured the public's imagination" wt??) than another? Particulalry in what is primarily an entertainment field.

Frankly I could do without the entire lot of "award/shows." Wake me up for the award show when one of them does something really useful or interesting, like cures cancer . . . (Otherwise, I'll be waiting for next season.)
"

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12. Posted by Paolo, 16/12/2014 17:05

"Pot calling kettle. I am not aware of a single premier league footballer that doesn't have an accountant do a deal with the revenue. Probably doesn't have a place in Monaco because he couldn't spell it"

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13. Posted by Melscott30, 16/12/2014 15:18

"Formula 1 boring ??????? Nothing could be more boring than watching 22 men kicking a ball about with all the yobos screaming at them. I'd rather watch my 2 year old grandson kicking a ball !!!!!!!!!!"

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