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.

By Mark Rainey
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.
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.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe