Off the Pitch

40,000 sign petition against Tyson Fury’s BBC SPOTY nomination

More than 40,000 signatures have been added to a petition against the nomination of newly-crowned world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury on the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award shortlist.

The 27-year-old is one of 12 athletes shortlisted for this year’s award, but some are unhappy with his nomination because of his views on homosexuality.

The petition, which is listed on, said: “As recently as this month Fury told the Mail on Sunday that there were three things that needed to happen ‘before the devil comes home’, he continued ‘One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is paedophilia.

Who would have thought in the 50s and 60s that those first two would be legalised?’ “Homophobia has long been a barrier to the participation of LGBTI people in Sport.

Young people need sports personalities that they can look up to not people who express outrageous homophobic views, which can cause bullying and self-harm.

“The BBC clearly do not understand that by nominating Fury, who has on a number of occasions expressed homophobic views and compared homosexuality to paedophilia, they are putting him up as a role model to young people all over the UK and the world.”

Former winners Andy Murray and Lewis Hamilton are among the other sports stars nominated for the award, along with Tour de France winner Chris Froome and heptathlon world champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.

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