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Sports Illustrated "Sportsperson of the Year" (1954-) - a Prejudiced Annual Award, Exclusively Awarded to American Athletes


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This is a "listicle" that's interesting and worth a quick click-thru, *if* you understand that it's about the good old U S of A. I want to emphasize that Sports Illustrated is a very American publication (it's owned by Time, Inc., whose "Person of the Year" awards are equally prejudiced), and the awards are prejudiced towards an American audience (they even admit as much), so with that in mind, prepare to see a lot of NBA, NFL, and NBA players who would not merit the award if it were truly based on a worldwide field. 

To emphasize the prejudice in this award, the last time a non-American was on the cover was the Canadian Wayne Gretzky in 1982, and before that, it was Scottish race-car driver Jackie Stewart in 1973 - in other words, it should be correctly titled "American Sportsperson of the Year" - why they don't just come out and say this just shows how ethnocentrical they are, and how much discrimination they show towards non-American athletes.

I guess it's no different than calling the Cubs "World Champions" (even though when it comes to baseball, the best team in the USA probably *is* the best team in the world).

More interesting still would be if people could make a case for someone else more deserving of the award in any given year (Leicester City F.C., for example, about whom I *still* don't fully understand the scope of their accomplishment, and would very much appreciate a thread about, hint, hint). Anywhere, here it is:

"Every Sportsperson of the Year" on si.com

And by the way, accepting the award's jingoism, this year it should have been "The Chicago Cubs" given that LeBron James just won the award in 2012. Yes, James was arguably the most deserving American individual (at least in a major team sport), but come on - 108 years?! And with precedent in 2004 for the Boston Red Sox? This award is stupid.

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I haven't read the articles or paid attention, but when it comes to Lebron James he is:

  • A unique physical freak of nature
  • Uniquely talented as a basketball player
  • Remarkably smart as a basketball player
  • Makes his teammates better
  • Has won his fair share of championships
  • And has arguably been the best player in professional basketball for probably the significant majority of his career....and if not the best probably been one of the top 5 for virtually every one of those years of his career.

IMHO he merits recognition.   Good for him.  He is up there in that Michael Jordan rarified air of a one in a million.  How many athletes in any sport have that distinction?


(added edit).   Went back and looked his career stats up.  In fact among all those great statistics, during 13 full years, wherein he was rarely injured or out, he won 4 MVP awards and for 11 of the thirteen years his vote total for mvp was in the top 5...and in the two years he wasn't in the top 5 he was 6th and 9th.   It surprised me.  That is a long career of sustained excellence.  I was shooting from the hip at the top...but its evidently a fact, at least as far as mvp voters are concerned.

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