The BBC is facing calls to remove heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury from their Sports Personality of the Year 2015 shortlist due to homophobic comments he made in an interview with the Mail on Sunday. A Change.org petition has gathered almost 50,000 signatures in support of the move.
Fury was quoted as saying "There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the Devil comes home. One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is paedophilia."
In addition to his comments to the Mail on Sunday, video footage of Fury making a string of sexist remarks has now surfaced. Talking about heptathlete and fellow SPOTY nominee Jessica Ennis-Hill, Fury said "That’s the runner, isn’t it? She’s good, she’s won quite a few medals, she slaps up good as well. When she’s got a dress on she looks quite fit."
Fury then expressed his attitudes about female boxers, saying “I’m all for it. I’m not sexist," before going on to say "I believe a woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back. That’s my personal belief. Making me a good cup of tea, that’s what I believe.”
Ennis-Hill and Fury stand alongside Mo Farah and long-jumper Greg Rutherford on the 12-strong nominee list. The winner will be decided by phone and online votes during the live show on Sunday 20th December.