Over 125,000 people signed a Change.org petition calling for the BBC to remove Tyson Fury from its short list of Sports Personality of the Year 2015 in the British Sports Awards after he compared homosexuality to pedophilia and said it will lead to the apocalypse.
Now, the 27-year-old old heavyweight boxing champ’s invitation to the awards has officially been rescinded, but not for the reasons petitioners had hoped.
According to a statement released by the Sports Journalists’ Association earlier today, Tyson was “reluctantly” disinvited to the British Sports Awards happening later this month “as a consequence of threats made by Fury against at least one sports journalist, an SJA member, who has written about the boxer’s repugnant comments on homosexuality and women.”
That’s right, it’s not the horrible comments he said about gay people that got him in trouble.
It was a flippant remark he made to a reporter that did it.
The threats SJA is referring to happened on Sunday when Fury said he was going to have sports journalist Oliver Holt’s jaw broken.
“See ‘big Shane’ there,” Fury said. “He’s 6’1 and 25 stone. He’s going break his [Holt’s] jaw completely with one straight right hand! I won’t do it as I’ll get in trouble but the big fella there will annihilate him. Oliver, take a good look at him because that’s the face you’re going to see before you hit the deck.”
But just because Fury won’t be at the ceremony doesn’t mean he still can’t win the award in absentia. The BBC has no plans to remove him for the list of nominees.
A spokesperson said: “The Sports Personality shortlist is compiled by a panel of industry experts and is based on an individual’s sporting achievement – it is not an endorsement of an individual’s personal beliefs either by the BBC or members of the panel.”
As for Fury, he hasn’t yet responded to having his invitation rescinded, but he certainly seems to be enjoying all the attention. Earlier this week, he tweeted:
“I have the press camped outside my house! Lol me famous.”
h/t: The Guardian