LGBT rights groups to protest BBC Sports Personality awards over Tyson Fury

Joseph McCormick December 16, 2015
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A number of LGBT rights groups have announced that they plan to protest at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) awards over Tyson Fury’s nomination.

The largest support and advocacy organisation for LGBT people in Northern Ireland, The Rainbow Project along with LGBT Groups Cara-Friend, HEReNI and the grassroots LGBT activist collective Fight4Equality will protest at the SSE Arena in Belfast in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the short list of BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015.

World Heavyweight champion Fury has refused to apologise for claiming that once homosexuality, paedophilia and abortion are all made legal, the world will end.

Tyson Fury - Christian Hammer Press Conference

The boxer also claims to have “evidence” that paedophilia was legalised by a fictional ‘Gay Rights Act 1977’ – but the BBC has resisted pressure to rescind his Sports Personality of the Year nomination.

Asked by the BBC to respond to critics of his views, and the fact that he has been stripped of his title, he said: “I’ve got lots to tell you. Believe in the lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

Fury has been uninvited from the awards ceremony because of threatening comments he allegedly made to a sports journalist.

John O’Doherty, Director of 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.

He went on to say that the protest should show the BBC “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 added: “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.”

Olympic track and field star Greg Rutherford has threatened to pull out of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award if Tyson Fury remains in the shortlist.

As well as calling those who have signed the petition “50,000 wankers”, Fury has taken to Twitter – to claim he doesn’t want the award anyway.

Despite his comments, the BBC says it will not alter the nominations.

A spokesperson said: “The Sports Personality shortlist is compiled by a panel of industry experts and is based on an individual’s sporting achievement – it is not an endorsement of an individual’s personal beliefs either by the BBC or members of the panel.”

Last week a challenger to Tyson Fury’s heavyweight champ title warned him to watch his mouth.

BBC News presenter Clive Myrie, during a live newspaper review on the BBC News channel branded Fury a “dickhead” after checking that it was “after the watershed”.

Related topics: rainbow network, Tyson Fury

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