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Controversial boxing champion Tyson Fury has publicly asked the BBC to remove him from the shortlist for the most prestigious individual sporting award in his homeland – but the move has backfired as he received fierce criticism.

Committed contrarian Fury clasped his hands together in front of a cabinet displaying his WBC belt as he emphatically rejected his nomination for the Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) award, which pitted him against the likes of Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton and Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson when it was announced on Tuesday.

The unbeaten “Gypsy King” responded to the contentious call by reiterating his claim to be the “people’s champion”, provoking a divided reaction fueled by the homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic views he had expressed in the past.

“This is a message for BBC Sport and their SPOTY award,” announced Fury on social media, adding that he was “blessed by god.”

Hi this is Tyson fury the gypsy king, this is a message for the @bbcsport and there spoty award, please take me off your list as I’m the people’s champion and have no need for verification or any awards. I know who I am & what iv done in sport. I have the love of the people… pic.twitter.com/iwNYblTZG4

Look at me, look a me! 😴😴

Did Mr Fury get his nomination for his homophobic remarks or was it his sexist slurs? It’s so hard to keep up!

“Please take me off your list as I’m the people’s champion and have no need for verification or any awards.

“I know who I am and what I’ve done in sport. I have the love of the people, which is worth more to me than all the awards in the world. To anyone who supports me, don’t vote. All my love, the Gypsy King.”

Fury issued an apology in 2016 for a video posted online in which he made a range of discriminatory comments against gay people, women and Jews, and he also accepted a backdated two-year doping ban in 2017.

Validation not verification mate

No need for verification or awards he says standing in front of belts that verify him as world champion and are awarded.

Looking forward to his video tomorrow calling all the other nominees dossers and how much he deserves the award and a knighthood.

The giant brawler has been on a relentless mission to present himself as a reformed and inspirational figure, speaking openly about his life-threatening depression, cocaine use and range of other personal problems that had been part of the reason for his absence from the ring for almost three years after famously beating Wladimir Klitschko to win five titles in 2015.

While his legion of loyal admirers lauded him as a legend, many others accused Fury of attention-seeking and questioned the motives behind his apparent shunning of the recognition.

“Talk about getting the violin out and begging for support,” one unconvinced viewer fired back. “This move was really badly advised.

I’d also like to pull myself out of the running to become Megan Fox’s next husband.

God the attention this guys seeks is ridiculous

What the guy who dressed in Stars and Stripes in Vegas and a Mexican flag on Mexican independence weekend, and appeared in the WWE?

“It’s cringey as f*ck. If people can’t see past this PR stunt, you should seek help.”

When another insisted that Fury had been driven by opportunistic self-promotion, a reader sarcastically asked: “What, the guy who dressed in stars and stripes in Vegas and a Mexican flag on Mexican Independence Day, and appeared in the WWE?”

Others argued that Fury had known he was unlikely to win and pointed out that the BBC, which is frequently suspected by audiences of acting in the interests of its image rather than accuracy, had hardly produced a diverse list of nominees.

Love it!! 🙌 2020 quotables:”STOP THE COUNT” and “Take me off your list” 😎😎

To be fair Tyson Fury is a “character” but I can’t get past some of his historic homophobic outpourings.

For those forgetting, Tyson Fury is still a homophobic, sexist bigot and shouldn’t have been on #SPOTY list in the first place. He won one fight, if that is our bar for contendors then time to scrap the whole thing!

“Five men, including one who has a record of being homophobic and misogynistic, and only one woman?” asked one. “Great.”

Fury supporters felt that the reliably bland awards ceremony should have nominated the fighter last year, with his emphatic win over Deontay Wilder in February to win the title clearly swaying bosses to now shortlist arguably the most colorful and outspoken character in British sport.

He finished fourth when he was nominated for the award in 2015, having admitted at the time that he did not want to win it because he was “not the best role model for the kids” and would not “appreciate” the award.

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, 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

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The BBC considered removing him from that year’s list after comments he made about Olympic hero Jessica Ennis-Hill, who finished third, caused outrage and the launch of a petition to have him struck off as a candidate.

Speaking to IFL about Ennis-Hill ahead of his fight with Klitschko, Fury said: “That’s the runner, isn’t it?

“She’s good, she’s won quite a few medals. She slaps up good as well. When she’s got a dress on, she looks quite fit.”

@J_Ennis if I’m going to get in trouble for giving a woman a compliment what has the world come to, I said u look fit in a dress?

@Tyson_Fury@J_Ennis and said the best place for women like her is in the kitchen. Patronising and arrogant.

@Tyson_Fury@J_Ennis the world has gone mad big man. The lunatics have taken over the asylum!! Mrs EnnissHill you are hot. Work hard for it.

Asked in the same interview for his opinion on female boxers, he said he was “all for it” and “not sexist” before adding: “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.”

A respondent who was unable to look beyond those and other remarks said: “For those forgetting, Tyson Fury is still a homophobic, sexist bigot and shouldn’t have been on the list in the first place.

So 5 men, including one who has a record of being homophobic and misogynistic and only one woman? Great.

Sports Personality of the year. Nominees. One woman out of 6. A jockey. Well deserved nomination. That’s it though. Just the one. Tyson Fury though.

The minute David Beckham won the award in 2001, it lost all credibility. 🤷🏻‍♂️The show is just a tedious, tokenistic ‘wokefest’ nowadays. 👎

“He won one fight. If that is our bar for contenders then it is time to scrap the whole thing.”

Another said: “The minute David Beckham won the award in 2001, it lost all credibility.

“The show is just a tedious, tokenistic ‘wokefest’ nowadays.”