Ronnie O’Sullivan dragged into Joey Barton rant after Mary Earps wins SPOTY

Joey Barton claims Ronnie O’Sullivan would have been more deserving to win Sports Personality of the Year than Mary Earps. The snooker star was not nominated for the award that the England goalkeeper won on Tuesday.

Barton grabbed headlines earlier this month when he claimed on social media that women pundits shouldn’t be talking about men’s football. The former midfielder has received backlash for his verdict, with high-profile presenters such as Alex Scott hitting back on live TV.

And now it appears Barton is not happy with Earps’ success. Earps was one one six nominees for Sports Personality of the Year following her performance for England at the Women’s World Cup in the summer.

She topped the public vote, edging out Stuart Broad in second and Katarina Johnson-Thompson in third. Barton has again taken to X, formerly known as Twitter, to vent his anger at the results.

Read more… Every Ronnie O’Sullivan Sports Personality of the Year rant after another snub

Mary Earps wins the 70th BBC Sports Personality of the Year

He believes “genius” O’Sullivan, who won his record-extending eighth UK Championship this month, and champion jockey Frankie Dettori would have deserved the trophy more. Neither have won the award before, with Dettori finishing outside the top three in this year’s votes.

Barton ranted: “To win before Ronnie O’Sullivan and Frankie Dettori…? Well, that’s just madness to me.

“Both almost genius like in their respective fields. They’ve lost to a big sack of spuds that plays in goal for a girls’ team.

“That’s the world we live in. This all started with the ‘Everyone’s a Winner’ sports days.

“This is what happens when you celebrate mediocre. You breed this weak culture. A culture of losers. A culture of snowflakes.”

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Earps became the second women’s footballer in a row to win the main award following Beth Mead’s triumph in 2022. She saved a penalty in the World Cup final against Spain but the Lionesses fell short with a 1-0 defeat.

Earps is determined to leave an impact on the sport and be an inspiration to others. She told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I’m trying to be a game changer. I’m trying to change the world in whatever small time that I’m here.

“I enjoy the responsibility of being a role model, I try to inspire as many people as possible – young, old, whatever. I want people to relate to me and my journey, see that I’m just a normal person trying to live out her dream.

“I’m trying [to make goalkeeping cool]. It’s happening, it’s happening. Slowly but surely – it’s the Merps mission. Goalkeeping is cool!”

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