Tyson Fury claims his anti-gay comments were just ‘fun and games’
Boxer Tyson Fury has insisted his controversial anti-gay comments were “fun and games”.
Heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury is up for the ‘personality’ award on Sunday evening – despite 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‘.
Despite criticism, the BBC has refused to back down – with Director-General Tony Hall insisting the matter must be left up to public vote.
The reception to the boxer was hostile on the show, which aired live on BBC One – with audible booing at points for the boxing star.
When interviewed, he initially refused to discuss the fallout to his comments, querying the meaning of the question.
However, after being prompted three times, he said: “I’ve said a lot of stuff in the past, you know. None of it’s with intentions to hurt anybody.
“It’s all a bit of tongue-in-cheek and it’s all fun and games for me.
“I’m not really a serious kind of person. Everything’s happy go-lucky with Tyson Fury.
“If I’ve said anything in the past that’s hurt anybody, I apologise to anybody that’s hurt.”
Here’s how to vote. Aside from Fury, there are a plethora of contenders to choose from, including a number of strong LGBT allies.
The other nominees were athletes Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford, tennis player Andy Murray, F1’s Lewis Hamilton, footballer Lucy Bronze, cyclists Chris Froome and Lizzie Armitstead, swimmer Adam Peaty, gymnast Max Whitlock and rugby league’s Kevin Sinfield.
Team GB athlete Tom Bosworth, who came out in October, praised Mo Farah for “not batting an eyelid when I told him I was gay” – even given the runner’s devout faith background.
Andy Murray has also reached new heights with the help of coach Amélie Mauresmo – dedicating a win to her after she welcomed a child with her female partner.
Greg Rutherford has threatened to snub the awards entirely if Tyson Fury remains in the shortlist, but was in attendance on the night, explaining: “I realised my nomination meant so much to my family.”
Meanwhile, a picket was staged outside the event by LGBT activists and feminist groups, outraged that Fury was nominated.
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.”
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