American Pharoah deserves to be the 2015 Athlete of the Year. For the very reason you say he doesn’t.
He is not a human being.
That was a weight he never had to carry.
American Pharoah did not persuade a grossman to deflate his saddle for extra speed.
He did not get liquored up at the pre-Kentucky Derby party and yell, “And they’re (bleeping) off!”
There are no reports of Pharoah slapping any fillies or mares.
He did not deliberately finish last in one race so he could get a superior post position in another race.
He did not complain that he had to race on a Thursday.
He did not try to recruit other promising colts to Bob Baffert’s barn by arranging parties with exotic dancers.
He did not threaten to move to Carson or Inglewood unless somebody built him a new luxury stall.
He did not get into any hoof-fights with fellow horses in the winner’s circle.
He did not fire his jockey in the middle of a race.
And he did not pretend to have attention deficit disorder in order to get performance-enhancing drugs.
American Pharoah also did not announce his retirement in The Horse’s Tribune and then embark on a national farewell tour, getting in the way of younger horses trying to establish themselves.
He never said, “It is what it is” or “We just executed tonight.”