Tatchell claims boxer who ‘linked gays to paedophiles’ shouldn’t face hate crime charges

LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell says a boxer who linked gay people to paedophiles shouldn’t face a police hate crime investigation.

Fury has controversially been nominated for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award, despite his record of anti-gay comments.

Police are currently investigating allegations that the heavyweight champion linked homosexuality to paedophilia, after he claimed sex with children was legalised by a fictional ‘Gay Rights Act 1977’.

Greater Manchester Police received a call earlier after a discussion of his comments on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

A police spokesperson said yesterday: “At 10:30 AM this morning, we received a report of a hate crime following comments made about homosexuality on the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

“As with all allegations of hate crime, we are taking the matter extremely seriously and will be attending the victim’s address to take a statement in due course.”

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Although Tyson Fury has made outrageous homophobic and sexist comments, the police investigation is excessive and unwarranted.

“In a free society, objectionable opinions should not be subject to police inquiries unless they involve threats, menaces, harassment or incitement to violence.

“Tyson has done none of these things. The police should stop wasting their resources and drop this inquiry immediately.

“Just because I and others are offended by Fury’s intolerant views this is not a sufficient reason for a criminal investigation.

“Britain is a democracy, not a police state. Tyson’s ideas should be protested and refuted but not criminalised.”

In the past, Mr Tatchell himself has hit out at false claims that he supports ‘paedophile rights’.

He added of Fury’s comments: “Justifying his continued inclusion as a nominee for Sports Personality of the Year, the BBC claims that Fury should be judged solely on his sporting achievements.

“This is not the view of most sporting bodies, including the British Board of Boxing Control. They penalise athletes who express homophobic, racist and other bigoted opinions.

“Their policy is zero tolerance. The BBC is out of step with sporting professional bodies who say that prejudice has no place in any sport.

“If Fury had made racist comments I am certain that the BBC would have never shortlisted him. This decision smacks of double standards. Yet again the BBC is being more lenient with homophobia than it is with racism.”

Fury, who became the heavyweight champ last month, claimed in an interview that homosexuality and paedophilia will bring about the end of times.

The boxer has denied having anti-gay views, but back in 2013 he was fined by £3000 by the British Boxing Board of Control for calling Lennox Lewis “100% homosexual”.