THE BLOG

I Couldn't Care Less About Tyson Fury

14/12/2015 00:10 GMT | Updated 13/12/2016 10:12 GMT

Oh, people. How have we got here? A bilious, muscularly-inflated caveman who has clearly taken one too many cranial left hooks makes witless comments about women and gays. Cue the hand-wringing hysteria brigade who force public debate about whether the begloved buffoon should remain on the Sports Personality of the Year Award shortlist, thus giving him more publicity and presumably earning his promoters even more moolah.

Is there not more to talk about?

Look, obviously what he said was moronic and derogatory. But he's a boxer, for God's sake.

The man is paid to get into fights. Should we have expected him, having won his title, to deliver an ode on the importance of societal peace and harmony?

Call me a snob, but boxing doesn't always readily lend itself to considered, thoughtful contributions to public debate. From what I've seen -admittedly as little as humanly possible, over the years- it's more about knocking ten bells out of whoever's standing in front of you until they can't fight back.

And the maddening, saddening thing about all this is that the Furious focus is a distraction from the achievements of the other shortlisted candidates. We are blessed in this country, in the rosy Olympic afterglow, to have a glut of sportspeople to look up to, none of whom have felt it necessary to publicly denigrate women, gays, blacks, or anyone else.

Jessica Ennis-Hill, Andy Murray, Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford, Lizzie Armistead - each one of them a world-beater and a deserving role model for any kid in any street in the country. Armistead, for example, is now world road race champion. Ennis-Hill is a gold medal heptathlete. And of course Murray pulled off a stunning victory in the Davis cup. These are the people we should be backing, cheering, debating, celebrating and reading about.

And the clue, surely, is in the name - it's about Personality with a capital P. Tyson Fury (and while we're on clues in names, well ladies and gents, there's a hint) is clearly a man of challenged personality if he's ready to write off females and homosexuals. The more we debate him, the louder the calls for the BBC to strike him off the shortlist, the greater air time the man is given, the more people have to be exposed to his views. He may have not particularly sought a misogynistic, homophobic platform, but social and national media has certainly given him one.

For goodness' sake, let's just keep him on the shortlist but give him the zero votes he deserves, and while we're at it let's extend a bit of sympathy to the woman he's married to. Like Donald Trump, it would be so much better if we could just ignore him and hope he goes away.