Football

Paul Kimmage Says McClean Being Sportsperson Of The Year Makes 'Mockery' Of Award

Paul Kimmage Says McClean Being Sportsperson Of The Year Makes 'Mockery' Of Award

Despite an ultimately disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign for the Irish football team, James McClean was named RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year on Sunday night.

The West Brom winger won the award by public vote.

Speaking on Today FM's The Last Word with Matt Cooper on Monday night, Sunday Independent journalist Paul Kimmage lauded McClean efforts for the Irish team. However, he still felt the Derryman winning made a "mockery" of the award.

It's astonishing - even by their [RTÉ] standards, it's pretty astonishing. Everybody likes him. I love his commitment to the team. I love the way he plays for Ireland, it's totally admirable. His performance in every game, he gives 100 percent.

There's definitely times that he needs to stand back and be more clear-headed but his overall contribution to the team, it's fantastic but by no means is he the Sportstar of the Year, it just makes a mockery of it.

He later added that nobody "other than James's parents" believes that he should have won the accoladede.

Kimmage said that there are two problems with the RTÉ award. Firstly, that it is decided by public vote, turning it into a popularity contest. Secondly, he had an issue with the shortlist which had been drawn up by RTÉ.

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"Look at the list: it is PC glorified, politically correct glorified. Is there four Paralympians on it? I mean for Christ's sake, come on, it's just a joke.

There is no Paul Dunne, who wins a European Tour event in a sport that is massively, massively competitive. Not on the list. Dan Martin, sixth in the Tour de France. Not on the list. The list is the joke."

He did offer an alternative option as to how the winner should be decided.

The alternative is a panel of experts who sit down, draw up the list and make a case then. We could be the experts here. We'll draw up the list and have a good fight about it. At the end, we'll have agreed, we'll have a consensus view, we'll have measured all the achievements, popularity won't come into it.

That is the only way to do it, that is the fairest way to do it and, for sure, not everybody is going to agree with it but we're absolutely sure that nobody agrees, other than James's parents that he's the Sportstar of the Year.

See Also: Here's How James McClean Won RTÉ's Sportsperson Of The Year

PJ Browne
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