Tyson Fury will not face police action over hate crime claims
Published 10/12/2015 | 11:56
World heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury will face no police action over allegations he committed a hate crime.
The comments made by the WBA and WBO title winner on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show on Tuesday, where he reiterated his opposition to homosexuality, were the subject of a complaint to Greater Manchester Police (GMP).
But the force said that while the comments had been recorded as a "hate incident", it was taking no further action against the 27-year-old sportsman after interviewing the complainant.
A GMP spokesman said: "The circumstances in which these comments were made suggest that no criminal offence has taken place and this matter will not be investigated any further."
Fury has faced a barrage of criticism over his personal views since he stunned Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA, IBF and WBO belts last month.
It followed a November interview with the Mail On Sunday in which Fury 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."
The heavyweight has also been accused of sexism after a YouTube video emerged of him saying Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill "slaps up good", before adding: "A woman's best place is in the kitchen and on her back - that's my personal belief."
The BBC has so far refused to remove Fury from the 12-person Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, with the winner of the award set to be announced on December 20.
An online petition calling for him to be removed from the shortlist, citing his views on homosexuality, has attracted more than 100,000 signatures.
After the complaint was made to police on Tuesday, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell described the police investigation as "excessive and unwarranted", adding: "In a free society, objectionable opinions should not be subject to police inquiries unless they involve threats, menaces, harassment or incitement to violence. Tyson has done none of these things."
But Mr Tatchell added: "The BBC is out of step with sporting professional bodies who say that prejudice has no place in any sport.
"If Fury had made racist comments I am certain that the BBC would have never shortlisted him. This decision smacks of double standards. Yet again the BBC is being more lenient with homophobia than it is with racism."
A BBC reporter who criticised the corporation for nominating Fury for SPOTY said he has been suspended.
The action against Andy West, who works for BBC Northern Ireland, came after he made online comments that he was "ashamed" to work for the broadcaster.
The gay journalist from England criticised his employer's decision to shortlist Fury despite the boxer's controversial views on homosexuality.
Mr West wrote on Facebook: "My employer is hurting me and other gay people by celebrating someone who considers me no better than a paedophile and who believes homosexual people are helping to bring about the end of the world.
"It's tempting to see him for the laughable idiot he is but sadly there are many other idiots who will be inspired and encouraged by his naive, juvenile bigotry. I am ashamed to work for the BBC when it lacks bravery to admit it is making a mistake."
In a Twitter post on Thursday, West said he had been suspended by the BBC "pending investigation".
The BBC said: "We do not routinely comment on individual staff matters."