Over 10,000 people sign petition to have Antrim man shortlisted for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 1 year ago

Over 10,000 people sign petition to have Antrim man shortlisted for BBC Sports Personality of the Year

It's funny how the world of motorsport seemingly operates in another sphere.

That's through no fault of their own by the way - it's just ignorance in the mainstream media.

All over the planet, even dotted right across this little island of ours are these great men performing great feats but, for whatever reason, their achievements are never recognised like they should be. It's not because they're in a minority sport, it's absolutely not because of that. As a nation, we're pretty alright at blowing our own trumpets and celebrating anything that needs to be celebrated and it's not really jumping on a bandwagon when you're just giving a wonderful athlete who's shaken the world in a particular field the praise and adulation deserved.

But motorsport is different. Despite amazing successes, despite Irish men and women reaching the very top and acting as real role models for the country's youth, it never really leaves the pocket of motorsport even when freak achievements dictate that it should. And it's not right.

So here's Jonathan Rea, a 30-year-old from Larne in county Antrim, a legend already in the superbike world.

Rea, this year, became the first ever rider to win three successive WSB championships. Since joining Kawaski, he's won the Superbike World Championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He also amassed his 50th career win, another unprecedented record.

To put it straight, he's dominating the whole world of superbikes.

But despite all this, Rea has never been shortlisted by the BBC for a Sports Personality of the Year award.

When this year's show takes place on December 17, Anthony Joshua will probably walk the whole thing but it's not right that Rea wouldn't even share the esteemed company that he has earned. His name should be recognised at that level and his achievements should be celebrated.

To understand the scale of what he has done, over 10,000 people have put their name to a petition to get Rea shortlisted by the BBC for the Sports Personality of the Year awards.

That petition was then hand-delivered into the BBC offices in Manchester with over 10,000 names on it signing for one purpose. Give a legend the recognition he deserves.

Odds for BBC SPOTY 2017