BBC Sports Personality of the Year: Piers Morgan compared to Joey Barton after Mary Earps comments

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The Manchester United and England star was the second straight female footballer to win after Beth Mead 12 months ago.

Piers Morgan has been criticised for questioning Mary Earps’ BBC Sports Personality of the Year win - suggesting it should have gone to someone “who actually won something”. 

The Manchester United and England goalkeeper won the coveted prize ahead of cricketer Stuart Broad in second and world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson in third. Wheelchair tennis player Alfie Hewett, jockey Frankie Dettori and golf star Rory McIlroy were the other nominees. 

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Earps has played a big a part as anyone is raising the profile of women’s football - her stunning performances in goal for the Lionesses helping England to the World Cup final, seeing her named the best goalkeeper at the tournament. She was also the Women’s Super League Golden Glove winner in 2023 and was named England Women's Player of the Year and BBC Women's Footballer of the Year

Mary Earps with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Trophy. Picture: BBC/James StackMary Earps with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Trophy. Picture: BBC/James Stack
Mary Earps with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Trophy. Picture: BBC/James Stack | BBC / James Stack

But that wasn’t enough for Morgan, who tweeted: “No offence to Ms Earps, but shouldn’t it have been given to someone who actually won something in 2023?”

Fans immediately hit back, pointing out that beyond her on-the-field achievements her battle with Nike to get her goalkeeper shirt on sale had also done huge amounts for women’s sport. 

@MarkKeenan5 tweeted: “She won the golden boot and has inspired a generation of goalies boys and girls.”  @HedgeyHedgehog posted: “It’s called sports PERSONALITY of the year Piers. I think you should go google what a sports personality is of the evidence of this.”

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Morgan wasn’t done though, adding: “Trying to get my head around two of England’s women footballers winning BBC SPOTY in successive years… while male sporting superstars with great personalities like Rory McIlroy, Frankie Dettori & Ronnie O’Sullivan have never won it.” 

That led to comparisons with Joey Barton after he caused outrage with comments about whether female pundits should be covering the men’s game, doubling down on his comments in an interview with Morgan on Talk TV. 

@UTDEmma_ said: “Joey? Is that you?”

On winning the ward, Earps said: ““I am honoured and humbled because I think this is the ultimate all-round sporting accolade. We have had a couple of incredible years, but this is just ‘wow’.

“It hasn’t been the easiest journey and I would not be where I am today without a number of incredible people in my corner. They have been with me through the really, really not so great times, but the last two years have been unbelievable and I have done more than I could ever have imagined and for that I am truly grateful. Thank you to my teammates, and coaches – I wouldn’t be here without you all.”

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