Suspended BBC journalist breaks silence over Tyson Fury comments
A journalist who was suspended over comments he made about boxer Tyson Fury has broken his silence.
World Heavyweight champion Fury refused to apologise for claiming that once homosexuality, paedophilia and abortion are all made legal, the world will end.
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.
Andy West was suspended earlier this month, after posting to Facebook about the controversy. Northern Irish host West, took to social media to express his concerns that the BBC “is hurting me and other gay people by celebrating someone who considers me no better than a paedophile”.
The Newsline journalist was since suspended, and had previously said he was not allowed to comment on the controversy.
But in a new YouTube video, West did comment, saying: “I’m not really meant to say anything, but I wanted to just say that I chose between being an objective journalist and being a human being with thoughts and opinions with principles.”
He went on: “I shouldn’t have given my opinion on something that was current” but said that at the same time he “couldn’t forget the little boy I was when I was nine or 10 at school and I was being bullied for being camp and being gay”.
The video now appears to have been deleted from West’s YouTube page.
During the video, first reported by the Belfast Telegraph, West was interrupted by his partner who kissed him and told him he would be the next Graham Norton.
West then said: “I’ve almost ruined my career because my employer is saying someone who is saying I’m akin to a paedophile is worthy of a pedestal in front of other people, and that’s what I take exception to.”
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“He’s made money, he’s got his belts. I think the BBC has made a mistake. I’ve no problem with him expressing his opinion. I’ve got a problem with the BBC saying this is someone we should look up to as Sports Personality of the Year.”
Protests took place last Sunday at the Sports Personality of the Year awards in Belfast, where Fury was unsuccessful in winning the honour.
Speaking at the awards, Fury said: “I have said a lot of stuff in the past and none of it is with the intention to hurt anybody.
“It’s all very tongue-in-cheek. Its all fun and games for me. I am not really a serious type of person.
“Everything is happy-go-lucky with Tyson Fury. If I’ve said anything in the past that has hurt anybody, I apologise to anybody who has been hurt. It was not my intention to do that.”
A petition to have West reinstated has been signed by over 6,500 people.