A LEEDS MP has called for a boycott of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year programme over the exclusion of Sam Burgess from the award’s shortlist.
Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, and chairman of the UK Parliamentary Rugby League Group, has also tabled a motion in the House of Commons over the issue.
Former Bradford and England forward Burgess, who has now switched codes to join Bath, enjoyed an outstanding final year in rugby league as the star of South Sydney Rabbitohs’ NRL title triumph in Australia.
Liberal Democrat MP Mulholland said: “The UK produces outstanding athletes across a wide range of sports and I am sure it is a challenge to create a shortlist.
“But the sad thing is, it comes as no surprise that the BBC has failed to recognise one of the world’s best rugby league players in Sam Burgess. Sam is a genuine star and one of the greatest rugby league players to have ever played the ball.
“On behalf of the group, I have written to the BBC director general and I call on all rugby league fans to do the same. I also encourage all to boycott the Sport Personality of the Year vote unless Sam is rightly included.”