After stunning the boxing world last Saturday in Dusseldorf by defeating Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko and claiming three heavyweight world titles in the process, it was not long before Tyson Fury was in trouble with the press yet again.
Fury who does not shy away from controversy, made comments prior to his successful world title challenge that offended many, leading to an online petition calling for his name to be removed from the Sports Personality of the Year award shortlist. The number of campaigner’s has grown to 80,000 many taking exception to bizarre remarks regarding homosexuality, paedophilia and abortion. To compound their anger he has since been quoted with a degrading statement towards the Heptathlon World and Olympic Champion Jessica Ennis.
It would seem justifiable to remove his name from the shortlist as comments such as these from a global icon set a terrible example to the younger generation. However although the man is clearly an idiot there is an argument to keep his name on the list.
Firstly his achievement inside the ring was truly astonishing and not expected from any fight fans or writers (the current author included). His victory was totally against the odds and also outside of the ring, controversy aside, he is entertaining. A spokesman for the BBC has confirmed that athletes make their prestigious list based “purely on their sporting achievements.” An assertion clarified by previous winners Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray. Both are great athletes but not the first choice to be stuck in a lift with, unless discussing tyre pressure or racquet strings truly excites you.
He may have a bad personality but surely this is better than no personality? For that reason he should be kept in the running. It is probably worth employing a good PR representative from now on though.