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Spoty row: Tyson Fury protest by gay rights group at BBC Sports Personality Awards in Belfast

Published 20/12/2015

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender supporters protest at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards taking place at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland in opposition to the addition of Tyson Fury to the shortlist.

A small but vocal group of protesters have picketed the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony over the shortlisting of controversial boxing champion Tyson Fury.

Up to 30 gay and equal-rights campaigners held banners and chanted slogans such as "Anti-woman, anti-gay, Tyson Fury go away" and "Tyson Fury hear us clear, we don't want your bigotry here".

The protest outside Belfast's SSE arena was kept well away from the red carpet but coincided with the arrival of the 7,500 audience.

John O'Doherty, director of The Rainbow Project, an LBGT support group, 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 ambassador."

Fury has faced a barrage of criticism over his personal views since his victory over Ukranian Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA, IBF and WBO belts in Dusseldorf last month.

Some 130,000 people had signed a petition calling for the BBC to remove the controversial fighter from its shortlist after allegedly homophobic and sexist comments.

Eighteen-year-old Aoife Dowds-Gibson said she felt compelled to take a stand.

She said: "I am disgusted by Tyson Fury's words and I don't think he should have been included in a personality award."

The protesters were also joined by Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who said he stood in solidarity with them but stopped short of saying the BBC should have excluded the boxer.

Boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Belfast
Boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Belfast
Boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Belfast
Footballer Lucy Bronze arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Belfast
Tyson Fury and his father pose on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Paris and Tyson Fury pose on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Andy Hill and Jessica Ennis-Hill on the red carpet at Titanic Building before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Denise Lewis on the red carpet at Titanic Building before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Lizzie Armitstead poses on the red carpet before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Presenter Jordanne Whiley poses on the red carpet at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Sameenah Toussaint (National Boxing Champion 13yr age group) and Blue Peter Presenter Radzi Chinyanganya on the red carpet at Titanic Building before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at the SSE Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Unsung Heroes on the red carpet at Titanic Building before the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Carrie Davenport/Getty Images)
Eamonn Holmes during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Dennis Taylor during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Jay Beattie arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph.
Mike Gibson during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Jason Mohammad during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Sean Cavanagh during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
The Unsung Heroes during the red carpet arrivals for Sports Personality of the Year 2015, at the Titanic Belfast, Belfast. Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Nicola Adams arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Pic: Andrew Paton/Press Eye.com
Jay Beattie arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph.
Guests arrive at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph.
Nicola Adams arrives at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at the SSE Arena in Belfast. Photo Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph.
Dame Mary Peters, Darren Clarke and Barry McGuigan with the Sports Personality of the Year trophy.

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