The largest support and advocacy organisation for LGBT people in Northern Ireland, The Rainbow Project along with LGBT Groups Cara-Friend, HEReNI and the grassroots LGBT activist collective Fight4Equality will protest at the SSE Arena in Belfast in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the short list of BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015.
John O’Doherty, Director of The Rainbow Project said: ‘It is very disappointing that the BBC have ignored public opinion and refused to remove Tyson Fury from the shortlist even though his late addition came after his disgraceful and inflammatory comments about women and gay people. An excellent boxer Tyson Fury may be, however his extremely callous and erroneous remarks about our community make him an unworthy candidate to be recognised among the UK’s excellent sporting personalities and ambassadors.
‘To highlight the widespread opposition to the comments of Tyson Fury and the shame he has brought on the sport of boxing, we and our partners in Cara-Friend, HEReNI and Fight4Equality will protest at the awards ceremony at the SSE Arena so that the BBC will understand that when they put homophobes and misogynists on a short list of athletes worthy of celebration, they will rightly be condemned. In future the corporation should give more thought to recognising those boxers who more fully represent the greatness of boxing such as Carl Frampton or Paddy Barnes.’
Courtney Robinson from Fight4Equality said ‘In Tyson Fury’s Neanderthal worldview, women are merely objects designed to entertain and serve men. He thinks our bodies are simply vessels for reproduction and we shouldn’t be allowed to choose for ourselves whether or not we want to have children. It is disgraceful that the BBC has allowed him to be nominated for Sports Personality of the Year. His personality is obnoxious and he should not be feted as a role model for young people.’