Belfast-bound heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury could be banned from the Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) awards if a protest petition campaign is successful.
The newly-crowned world champion is due in the city on December 20 as one of the 12 shortlisted candidates - but has caused widespread outrage with a series of sexist and homophobic comments.
Fury, a 6ft 9in Christian from Manchester of Irish Traveller descent, was already at the centre of a row for conflating homosexuality and paedophilia during a newspaper interview.
The latest row erupted when a video interview was released in which he gives his views on women in sport - such as fellow SPOTY nominee Jessica Ennis-Hill.
He said: “When she’s got a dress on she looks quite fit,” and added: “I believe a woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back. That’s my personal belief. Making me a good cup of tea, that’s what I believe.”
An online protest petition at Change.org has now been signed by more than 46,000 people.
By beating Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko last week, Fury became the WBA, IBF and WBO world champion.
He is due to appear at Belfast’s SSE arena for the glittering awards ceremony alongside superstars such as Mo Farah, Andy Murray and Lewis Hamilton, as well as heptathlete Ennis-Hill.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, he said: “When I say paedophiles could be made legal, it sounds crazy. But if I had said to you about [homosexuality] being made legal in the 1950s, I would have been looked upon as a crazy man.
“People can say, ‘You are against abortions, you are against paedophilia, you are against homosexuality,’ but my faith and my culture is based on the Bible.”
In the latest online video, Fury gave his opinion on women in boxing. He said: “I think they’re very nice when they’re walking around that ring, holding them cards. I like them actually. They give me inspiration when I’m tired.”