Tyson Fury saga: BBC reporter threatened with suspension
Andy West, above, a gay reporter on BBC Northern Ireland’s Newsline, is in hot water for criticising the broadcaster’s decision to keep Christian loon Tyson Fury on the nominee list for this year’s Sport Personality of the Year’ award.
According to this report, West wrote in a now-deleted update on Facebook that the ongoing row made him “ashamed to work for the BBC”, and accused his employer of:
Hurting me and other gay people by celebrating someone who considers me no better than a paedophile.
He has been “threatened with suspension” and is facing disciplinary action. A BBC source revealed that West has been:
Reprimanded by a manager, told an investigation would be launched into his conduct and warned he could be suspended.
Over a 130,000 people have already signed a Change.org petition calling for Fury’s removal from the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year shortlist over his sexist and homophobic remarks.
The boxer, above, has since called those who’ve signed the petition “wankers”, and told them they can “suck [his] balls”, while the BBC has repeatedly defended its decision to nominate the recently-crowned heavyweight champion of the world.
In his Facebook post criticising the BBC’s stance, West wrote:
It is 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 the bravery to admit it is making a mistake.
In a further comment underneath the status, the former BBC Radio 2 producer added:
I criticise the BBC for offering him as an idol to be celebrated and admired not just for his sporting achievements but also his ‘personality’.
West had reportedly also written to BBC Director General Tony Hall to complain directly about the boxer’s nomination.
The news comes a day after BBC issued a public apology after another of its staff members – BBC News anchor Clive Myrie – referred to Fury as a “dickhead” during a live broadcast.
Meanwhile, it’s reported here that Greater Manchester Police have launched an investigation into whether the boxer’s comments on BBC2 earlier this week constitute a “hate crime” after a viewer complained to the police.
The 27-year-old Fury – who has had his world IBF title stripped after arranging an unsolicited rematch with the boxer he won it from – reiterated his previous comments that homosexuality will bring about the end of days during an appearance on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on December 8.
A police spokesperson said:
At 10:30am on Tuesday we received a report of a hate crime following comments made about homosexuality on the Victoria Derbyshire programme. As with all allegations of hate crime we are taking the matter extremely seriously and will be attending the victim’s address to take a statement in due course.