You know what, I’m normally pretty laid back and it’s not that often I have really strong views on much at all – and if I do, then I tend to keep them to myself. BUT, this is something I am REALLY miffed about, so miffed it actually woke me up at 4am this morning – and believe me, nothing normally keeps me awake!
Last night was the Sports Personality of The Year 2014 (SPOTY), and I was really looking forward to it; the final 10 line up was impressive, I was on the lookout for people I knew in the audience and I knew Twitter would be entertaining throughout. Well, it was but not in the way I imagined…
My Twitter feed comprises of a lot of runners and active sort of folk and generally keeps me motivated and inspired. Not last night. Last night there was an absolutely shocking lack of sportsmanship and some downright disrespectful and obnoxious comments.
Jo Pavey’s name cropped up over and over again with people cheering her on to win, not surprisingly with me following so many runners, and I completely understand that. She’s fantastic and inspirational and completely deserves to be there. I, along with many others no doubt, clapped and cheered when she came in third and commented it was a shame that she hadn’t won.
However, just because the person I thought should win, didn’t, doesn’t mean it’s okay to write off the hard work, talent and effort of those who did win.
“Lewis Hamilton drives a car round in circles. Hardly a sport.”
“Rory McIlroy hits a ball with a stick and has someone to tell him when his trousers and shirt don’t match.”
Seriously, people! What’s wrong with you?! I’m not a fan of golf or F1 but these people are the top of their game, have a huge amount of talent and have spent years training and developing themselves. Incidentally, I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure both golf and F1 require a lot more physical fitness than a lot of people on Twitter seem to think they do.
Don’t get me started on what I read about Dressage:
“Prancing horses – sod that, I’m turning it off.”
Guess what folks? Just because you’re into one sport doesn’t make it the best and only sport there is! You know how much dedication and effort you’ve put into your chosen activity, so have the decency to respect other people and their talents – particularly when they’ve won World Championships, gold medals and a host of other awards.
I’m normally really proud to say I’m a runner (despite being horribly slow) and I’ve always found other runners to be really supportive. However, if being a runner means you look down on other people’s activities and efforts, and think you’re superior to everyone else, well, that’s a community I have no interest in being part of.
I like to think that it was a small minority of people on Twitter (now unfollowed) who felt this superiority, and my faith in the running community as being inclusive, welcoming and respectful of other sports can be restored.