Last month, boxing heavyweight champ Tyson Fury caused outrage when he made a number of outrageous and controversial comments about homosexuality, including comparing it to paedophilia.
Now, one Welsh MP is so furious with Fury’s ignorant statements, that he’s actually challenged him to a fight!
Chris Bryant, the MP for Rhondda, has been outspoken about how harmful Fury’s words are, and actually offered to meet him for a cup of tea at the House of Commons for a chat about harmful stereotypes, in what would have been the most British way to settle a dispute ever.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 6, 2015
However, after Tyson’s uncle Paul Fury suggested on BBC 5Live that the MP should meet the boxing star for a training session, Bryant has actually decided to take him up on the offer.
Writing in an open letter in The Mirror, Bryant revealed he boxed in his youth and accepted Fury’s challenge.
Dear Mr Fury,
I am writing as a Labour MP for the Rhondda and Shadow Leader of House of Commons.
Following the controversy surrounding your nomination for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award, I was wondering whether we could meet up to discuss some of the issues you have raised, including homosexuality and paedophilia.
As a gay man, former Anglican vicar and previous Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport I am worried that your comments could increase the stigma felt by young gay people and could encourage the bullying.
You were clear on the Jeremy Vine Show that you have positive and non-homophobic beliefs and love everybody, and I was encouraged to hear you say ‘I would like to put on record that I am not homophobic. I have homosexual friends and I do not judge them because of their sexuality. My comments that you may have read are from the holy scriptures, and this is what I live from’.
Your uncle Paul Fury seemed to agree a meeting might be helpful when we were on 5Live together last Sunday – he even suggested a we should do a training session together. As a former schoolboy boxer (when I was all of 12) I say bring it on! If you come to my workplace I’ll come to yours.
I hope you’re up for this. Do let me know when is convenient for you if so. I can organise the meeting here in Parliament and hopefully we can give you a proper platform in Parliament to help get to the root of your true beliefs and ensure no young homosexual person feels any stigma or bullying because of your comments.
The MP’s challenge comes hot on the heels of increasing calls for Fury to be removed from the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, following his comments about homosexuality as well as his misogynist claims that a woman’s place is either “in the kitchen” or “on her back”.
Considering Fury dethroned the long-time heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko last month, we’re not sure we fancy Bryant’s chances in a scrap, but hopefully he’ll be able to get a few words in along the way so he can at least make Tyson reconsider some of his awful opinions.