Tens of thousands of people have called on the BBC to remove homophobic boxer Tyson Fury from the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.
The 27-year-old world heavyweight champion has compared homosexuality with pedophiles, believes gay rights will lead to the ‘end of days’ and that gay people are Satanic.
A campaign to remove him from the running has attracted over 30,000 signatures so far.
‘Homophobia has long been a barrier to the participation of LGBTI people in sport,’ the petition reads.
‘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.’
Responding to the campaign, a BBC spokesperson told Gay Star News: ‘The nominees for BBC Sports Personality of the Year are decided on their sporting achievements.
‘As Fury became heavyweight champion of the world over the weekend, the panel feel that he should be a contender for this year’s award.’
When asked whether if the BBC would have removed Fury if he had made a comment about any ethnic or religious minority or about women, they said they had no more to say than their statement.
Fury has said he doubts that he will win the award as he says he refuses to be censored.
‘It depends what type of role model you’re after,’ he said. ‘If you’re after a yes man, it’s not me. If you want someone who knows what the world is like, then yes, they can look up to me.’
Earlier this month, Fury went on a diatribe comparing pedophila with homosexuality.
‘There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home,’ he told the Mail On Sunday.
‘One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is pedophilia. Who would have thought in the 50s and 60s that those first two would be legalized?
‘When I say pedophiles could be made legal, it sounds crazy. But if I had said to you about the first two being made legal in the 50s, I would have been looked upon as a crazy man.
He added: ‘People can say, “You are against abortions, you are against pedophilia, you are against homosexuality”, but my faith and my culture is based on the Bible.’
In 2013, Fury was fined £3,000 by the boxing authorities after saying two other boxers were ‘gay lovers’.
If you would like to sign the petition, click here.