Mary Earps decided to keep it classy following embarrassing meltdowns from Piers Morgan and Joey Barton, who didn’t cope well with a female sports star winning Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY).
The England goalkeeper picked up the award on Tuesday evening following her starring role in the Lionesses’ run to the Women’s World Cup final where she famously saved a penalty in their 1-0 defeat to Spain.
Earps was voted the winner of the prestigious award by the public, with former England cricketer finishing second and world champion heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson finishing third.
It marked the end of a remarkable year for the England shot-stopper, who won the World Cup Golden Glove this summer – saving a penalty in the final – won the WSL Golden Glove for the 2022-23 season and was named the Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper in February.
It was the second year in a row that a Lioness had won the award, after Beth Mead was crowned the winner last year – and this didn’t please Piers Morgan.
He questioned how Mead and Earps had won the award ahead of “male sporting superstars with great personalities.”
Taking to X, the TalkTV presenter wrote: “Trying to get my head around two of England’s women footballers winning BBC SPOTY in successive years… while male sporting superstars with great personalities like Rory McIlroy, Frankie Dettori & Ronnie O’Sullivan have never won it.”
Joey Barton has also posted some unfit-for-publication comments after initially congratulating Earps.
However, Earps had little interest in engaging in the debate, instead choosing to rise above her critics and post a video of her with the SPOTY trophy.
The Manchester United shot-stopper shared a six-second clip of herself dancing to the song Left, Right by rapper YG before grabbing the trophy and smiling as she waved it in front of the camera.
She captioned the post: “ BBC SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2023 BABY” accompanied by a heart and flame emoji.
@1maryearps BBC SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR 2023 BABY ❤️🔥 #mearps27 ♬ original sound – Drilluh