After this morning's announcement that Serena Williams had been chosen as the 2015 “Sportsperson of the Year,” a public outcry was unleashed all over social media. Bob Ehalt, of ESPN, posted to his Twitter page “Sorry SI, #American Pharoah was more accomplished than Serena this year & he had the biggest impact on his sport in 40 years. He was deserving.” SB Nation posted a satirical photo of Pharoah “typing” a response to Sports Illustrated regarding his being “snubbed” for the award.
Early this afternoon, Sports Illustrated posted a short article in response to that outcry. The article featured a statement from writer Kenny Ducey: “Even though her (Serena Williams) calendar year was one of the most dominant we've seen this decade, people were still mad online that horse American Pharoah didn't get the nod.” It also contained a controversial video of the horse “congratulating” Williams (click here for video).
Considering that Pharoah did take down the popular vote by 47 percent, while Williams garnered less than 1 percent, the public outcry should not be surprising. Also, according to Horse Racing Nation, Sports Illustrated did not receive either owner Ahmed Zayat or his son Justin's permission to use their horse's image to promote statements which they themselves expressly contradicted:
— Justin Zayat (@JustinZayat) December 14, 2015
ROBBED. ROBBED. ROBBED. — Ahmed Zayat (@jazz3162) December 14, 2015
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