Add another plaudit to the piles already heaped upon Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane. Already considered the best English striker of his generation, Kane has now been tapped as a nominee for the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He is the only footballer, male or female, to make the shortlist.
I’m given to understand that this is a huge deal in the United Kingdom, as it’s a national award that encompasses all of sport and not just football. I guess think of it as a nationalized version of the ESPYs? Maybe more important than that. Either way, it’s a huge honor, and the first time Kane has been nominated.
Here are the other contenders:
- Elise Christie, short track speed skater
- Mo Farah, track & field
- Chris Froome, cycling
- Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 racing
- Anthony Joshua, boxing
- Johanna Konta, tennis
- Jonnie Peacock, para-athletics
- Adam Peaty, swimming
- Jonathan Rea, motorcycling
- Anya Shrubsole, cricket
- Bianca Walken, taekwando
Considering the stranglehold that football has on the attention of UK sports fans, footballers have only rarely won the BBC SPOTY. Scottish tennis star Andy Murray has won the award three of the past four seasons, with Lewis Hamilton claiming the other award in 2014. The last footballer to win the SPOTY award was Ryan Giggs in 2009. Other footballers to claim the award include David Beckham, Michael Owen, Paul Gascoigne, and Bobby Moore, so a Kane win would put him in rare company indeed.
The award is decided via a public vote, and the winner will be announced in a ceremony on December 17.