Tyson Fury responds as petition grows for removal from Sports Personality list

Tyson Fury Image copyright PA
Image caption Tyson Fury won the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles from Wladimir Klitschko last weekend

Boxer Tyson Fury has spoken out on his views about women and gay people, as a petition calling for his removal from the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year shortlist reaches 80,000 names.

Fury has been quoted as saying a woman's "best place is on her back" and criticised homosexuality and abortion.

The new world heavyweight champion said: "Tyson Fury loves his fellow humans. He doesn't hate anybody."

The BBC said Fury's inclusion did not mean SPOTY endorsed his personal views.

Fury, 27, won the WBA, IBF and WBO titles on 28 November from Wladimir Klitschko, who had reigned as world champion for 11 years.

In the aftermath of his win in Dusseldorf, Fury had said: "I'm not sexist. 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."

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Media caption'What Tyson believes can come out the wrong way' - trainer Peter Fury

He has also drawn criticism for saying that fellow SPOTY nominee Jessica Ennis-Hill "slaps up well".

But Fury, who refers to himself as the 'Gypsy King' because of his Irish traveller heritage, told BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine programme on Monday: "I love my women and what I said goes for my wife alone. She knows her place, I know her place. That's our culture of people.

"That's nothing to do with the world or anybody else and if I was a normal person, I wasn't in the spotlight, no-one would be making a scene about what I say to my wife."

The new world champion has also previously said it would only take the legalisation of paedophilia in addition to the decriminalisation of homosexuality and abortion to see "the devil come home".

In an interview he said: "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 one's paedophilia.

"Who would have thought in the '50s and '60s that those first two would be legalised?"

In conversation with Jeremy Vine, he sought to clarify his comments by saying: "Let's not try and make me out to be some evil person and I hate gays because I don't hate anybody. I can actually say I don't hate anybody.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tyson Fury (right) was awarded a unanimous points victory over Wladimir Klitschko in Germany

"The only thing I have for people is love and that's what the world needs to realise. What a man does in his own home and with his own people is his own problems."

LGBT campaigner Scott Cuthbertson, who began the petition for Fury to be removed from the SPOTY shortlist, accused the BBC of double standards, adding that if the comments had been racist the boxer would have been dropped.

Cuthbertson said: "He has repeatedly made degrading, insulting and homophobic and sexist remarks.

"He is fully entitled to his views, but this is about the BBC putting Tyson up as a role model to young people."

The BBC said it was standing by its original shortlist of 12 for the award, and in a statement 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."

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