The BBC has come under renewed pressure to remove the heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury from its Sports Personality of the Year shortlist after the newly-crowned world champion appeared unrepentant about a string of sexist comments, some directed at the Olympic and world champion heptathlete, Jessica Ennis-Hill.
Fury – who less than a week ago upset Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA, IBF and WBO belts – made outspoken comments about homosexuality and abortion in the build up to the fight, and last week said that Ennis-Hill, a fellow contender for the award, “slaps up good”.
He also said: “A woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back – that’s my personal belief.”
He defended himself saying “If I am going to get in trouble for giving women compliments for wearing a dress, then what has the world come to? Listen, I’m the heavyweight champion of the world and people look up to me. If there’s any women in here tonight wearing dresses, I think everybody looks beautiful in a dress.”
More than 75,000 people have signed a petition calling for the BBC to remove the controversial boxer from the Spoty shortlist.
The first wave of outrage directed at Fury came in the build up to the Klitschko fight, when he compared homosexuality and abortion to paedophilia and then attempted to play down his comments by saying they come straight from “the holy scriptures”. His remarks will be on the agenda when the British Boxing Board of Control meets on Wednesday.
The BBC has so far stood by its decision not to yield to public pressure and take Fury out of the running for the award.
Fury himself tweeted to say he did not want to win the award, writing: “Hopefully I don’t win BBCSPOTY as I’m not the best [role] model in the world for the kids, give it to someone who would appreciate it.”
Tyson Fury has been told to remember he’s a role model when he opens his mouth and as it stands, the unbeaten boxer is likely to experience a rare and heavy defeat at the Spoty awards on 20 December.