BBC won't drop Tyson Fury from Sports Personality Of The Year shortlist after sexism row
New heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury is embroiled in a row over his views on women as thousands backed a call for him to be dropped from the BBC's Sports Personality Of The Year (SPOTY) shortlist.
Fury, 27, who defeated Wladimir Klitschko to win his world titles last Saturday, has drawn criticism for saying in an interview that fellow Spoty nominee Jessica Ennis-Hill "slaps up well".
An online petition calling for him to be removed from the shortlist, citing his views on homosexuality, has attracted more than 50,000 signatures.
The BBC said although the corporation did not endorse his views, he would not be dropped.
A spokesman 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."
And Fury himself was defiant, tweeting: "I've got more personality than all the other competitors put together,in this years BBCSPOTY who can compete with my sporting achievement!"
Earlier he tweeted: "Hopefully I don't win BBCSPOTY as I'm not the best roll model in the world for the kids, give it to someone who would appreciate it."
Fury was asked his opinion on women, and Ennis-Hill in particular, in an interview with iFL TV, which was published on YouTube on November 25 - three days before his world title fight.
When asked about women boxers he said: ''It's up to everybody what they want to do. 'I'm all for it. I'm not a sexist.
"I believe if a man can to go work all his life a woman can. Who am I to say, 'Don't do that 'cos you're a girl'?
''But 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.''
Fury laughed off the comment but when asked about Olympic champion heptathlete Ennis-Hill during the hour-long interview, he said: ''I think she's good, she's won quite a few medals for Britain, and she slaps up good as well, when she's got a dress on she looks quite fit.''
The Change.org petition also cites an interview Fury gave to the Mail on Sunday, in which campaigner Scott Cuthbertson said he expressed "homophobic views".
The boxer's comments were even addressed in Parliament on Thursday by shadow leader of the Commons Chris Bryant.
The Labour MP said: ''There are only three things, he has said, 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 is paedophilia.
''Leaving aside the bizarre rather heterodox theology, this equates homosexuality with paedophilia.''
Mr Bryant said that was ''profoundly offensive'' and the ''kind of language that leads to more young people committing suicide''.
''I gather Mr Fury has subsequently said that some of his best friends are gay,'' he said. ''So can I suggest that we invite him to Parliament some time in the near future because frankly I am quite happy to go head to head with him.''