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Gay BBC reporter facing suspension after criticising Tyson Fury 'SPOTY' nomination

2015-12-09
A gay BBC reporter has been "threatened with suspension" and is facing disciplinary action after criticising the broadcaster's decision to keep Tyson Fury on the nominee list for this year's Sport Personality of the Year' award, despite the controversy over recent homophobic and sexist comments made by the world champion boxer. Andy West, a reporter on BBC Northern Ireland's Newslinewrote 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". bbc A BBC source revealed to Buzzfeed News that Mr West has been "reprimanded by a manager, told an investigation would be launched into his conduct and warned he could be suspended" following the comments. Over a hundred thousand 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 previous sexist and homophobic remarks, which have included comparing homosexuality to paedophilia. The boxer has since called those who've signed the petition "50,000 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. bbc2

Facebook / Andy West

In his Facebook post criticising the BBC's stance, Mr 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'." An email leaked to Buzzfeed also shows that Mr West had written to BBC Director General Tony Hall to complain directly about the boxer's nomination. Contacted by Attitude, a BBC spokesperson said: “We do not routinely comment on individual staff matters.” 17-Fury-Getty 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 - click here to find out more. Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports 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 reported them to police. The 27-year-old - who also had his world IBF title stripped yesterday 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 yesterday (December 8). "At 10:30am on Tuesday we received a report of a hate crime following comments made about homosexuality on the Victoria Derbyshire programme," a police spokesperson said. "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." More stories: John Stamos stuns fans with bottomless photo shoot Watch | France’s Got Talent contestant shocks audience with penis painting