Homophobic boxing champ nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year

The broadcaster is facing a backlash after short-listing anti-gay boxer Tyson Fury for the prize.

The BBC has received criticism for featuring a homophobic boxer on its shortlist for Sports Personality of the Year.

Tyson Fury sparked outrage recently, by making a series of unnerving comments during an interview with the Mail On Sunday.

The new WBO Heavyweight Champion compared homosexuality to paedophilia, before saying it is one of the three things that will lead to the apocalypse.

“There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home,” he said.

“One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other one’s paedophile.

“Who would have thought in the 50s and 60s that those first two would be legalised?” he asked.

“When I say paedophiles can be made legal, that sounds like crazy talk doesn’t it?

“But back in the 50s and early 60s, for them first two to be made legal would have been looked on as a crazy man again.”

Shadow Cabinet minister Chris Bryant was quick to condemn Fury, saying behaviour like his leads to “young gay suicides.”

Mr Bryant – shadow leader of the Commons – tweeted that he was not celebrating Fury’s recent success because “his aggressive style of foul homophobia is precisely the kind that leads to young gay suicides”.

This is only the latest bizarre outburst from the British boxer – who beat Wladimir Klitschko for the WBO heavyweight title last weekend.

In 2013, he was investigated for homophobic tweeting after calling Lennox Lewis and Klitschko ‘100% homosexual’ and ‘homosexual’ and was subsequently fined £3,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year award will ultimately be decided by public vote later this month.

Those joining Fury on the shortlist include Formula 1’s Lewis Hamilton, swimmer Adam Peaty and athletes Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford.