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Martin Kelner, Journalist, Author and Radio Presenter.
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The Rashford Scandal
By Martin Kelner on Dec 21, 2020 - 1:41:07 PM

Round about August or September, after Marcus had forced the Government into a U-turn over free school meals, it became apparent the nation was likely to show its appreciation for his campaign - and more importantly, as a fine representative of Britain's national game on and off the pitch -  by voting for him to become Sports Personality Of The Year.  He shortened to 8-11 in the betting.  There was no-one anyone near him, it was a near certainty.

Around that time, Tim Davie took over at the BBC amid much talk of whether the Corporation was too woke, too leftish too remainery and so on. There was, for instance,  the row over Emily Maitlis appearing to be editorialising on Newsnight about Covid and the Government's missteps. 

We also got all those ludicrous statements about employing more 'right wing comedians,' like that's a thing.

They'll have had some idiotic W1A-style zoom meeting and decided to give Bob Mills a couple of Nish Kumar's gigs or something.  (Bob's a friend and colleague, by the way, and never in a million years is he a 'right wing comedian.' There aren't any.  Geoff Norcott's another name mentioned.  Not a right wing comedian.  He makes funny jokes about his wife, that doesn't make him Jacob Rees Fucking Mogg)   

It would have been about then that one of the many otiose managers at the BBC will have spotted that if they were to place Marcus Rashford on the SPOTY short list, a disobliging public would be likely to damn well vote for him, recognising Rashford as an admirable young man with a social conscience - a rich Premier League and international fooballer who, when he talks about 'giving something back,' actually means it. 

Many voters might also have wished to support the footballer to send a message to Boris Johnson and his gang of incompetents, but those are the breaks.

At this point, a whole bunch of OMs would have arranged another zoom meeting, and concluded that the 'personality' element of the award would be ditched this year, and the award for the first time would be about sporting achievement only, and they could fob off the Rashford supporting public with the SPOTY equivalent of the J Montgomery Burns award for Excellence in the field of Excellence.

I have no argument with Lewis Hamilton winning in the circumstances.  He's a fine driver of motor cars, but Marcus Rashford IS Sports Personality of the Year. 


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