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LGBT activists to picket BBC’s Sports Personality awards over Tyson Fury nomination

Nick Duffy December 15, 2015

LGBT activists are planning to protest outside the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards – over the organisation’s refusal to drop the nomination of boxer Tyson Fury.

Heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury is up for the ‘personality’ award on Sunday – after claiming that homosexuality and paedophilia will bring about the apocalypse.

The boxer has simultaneously stood by his comments and denied being homophobic – while also claiming that sex with children was legalised by a fictional ‘Gay Rights Act 1977‘.

After the BBC refused to rescind the boxer’s nomination, a number of LGBT groups are planning to protest outside the awards on Sunday, at the SSE Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

John O’Doherty, Director of Northern Irish LGBT rights group The Rainbow Project, said: “It is very disappointing that the BBC have ignored public opinion and refused to remove Tyson Fury from the shortlist even though his late addition came after his disgraceful and inflammatory comments about women and gay people.

“An excellent boxer Tyson Fury may be, however his extremely callous and erroneous remarks about our community make him an unworthy candidate to be recognised among the UK’s excellent sporting personalities and ambassadors.

“To highlight the widespread opposition to the comments of Tyson Fury and the shame he has brought on the sport of boxing, we and our partners in Cara-Friend, HEReNI and Fight4Equality will protest at the awards ceremony at the SSE Arena so that the BBC will understand that when they put homophobes and misogynists on a short list of athletes worthy of celebration, they will rightly be condemned.

“In future the corporation should give more thought to recognising those boxers who more fully represent the greatness of boxing such as Carl Frampton or Paddy Barnes.”

Courtney Robinson from Fight4Equality said: “In Tyson Fury’s Neanderthal worldview, women are merely objects designed to entertain and serve men.

“He thinks our bodies are simply vessels for reproduction and we shouldn’t be allowed to choose for ourselves whether or not we want to have children.

“It is disgraceful that the BBC has allowed him to be nominated for Sports Personality of the Year. His personality is obnoxious and he should not be feted as a role model for young people.”

The protest will be held at the SSE Arena from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM on December 20.

More: BBC, Gay, LGBT, Northern Ireland, sport, sports, Sports Personality of the year, SPOTY, Tyson Fury

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