Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Fury of Ignorance

Last month a man called Tyson Fury won a fight.  It was an important fight: as the winner, he emerged the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World (well, as champion of the versions run by the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine).

So, Tyson Fury can box but, sadly, he isn’t very bright. 

Critics of the ‘noble art’ might argue that being ‘a bit thick’ and being a boxer go perfectly together, but that isn’t necessarily the case.  Mohammed Ali and Scotland’s own Jim Watt were great boxers and also two of the most intelligent and articulate men you could meet.

Since becoming World Champion, Tyson Fury has hit the headlines away from the sports-pages, mainly because of his views on women and on homosexuality.  This elite sportsman equates loving-gay-couples with people who molest children.  Fury has also publicly stated that “a woman’s best place is in the kitchen or on her back”.

In terms of sport, the Boxing World Champion says, “Why don’t they just make drugs totally legal in sports, then everybody would be taking drugs and it would be fully fair then, wouldn’t it?”

Tyson Fury is not bright.

For reasons best known to themselves, the panel of sporting ‘industry experts’ which compiles the list of nominees for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award decided Tyson Fury should be a contender.

The BBC has refused to bow to public pressure demanding Fury be removed from the broadcaster’s list.  As I write, a petition calling on the BBC to ditch Tyson Fury has received more than 80,000 supportive signatures.  Mr Fury is unmoved by opposition to his views, branding critics “wankers” and suggesting they should “suck my balls”.

Tyson Fury is not bright.

It should be borne in mind that the BBC award for which Fury is nominated is the Sports Personality of the Year.  Do the actions and comments of Tyson Fury really suggest this man has or is a personality worthy of praise or reward?

In attempting to defend its actions, the BBC issued a statement, saying, “The Sports Personality shortlist is compiled by a panel of industry experts and is based on an individual’s sporting achievement – it is not an endorsement of an individual’s personal beliefs either by the BBC or members of the panel.”

It’s just as well Adolf Hitler didn’t excel at Darts, then, eh? 

Tyson Fury is not bright.  It isn’t his fault: he can only deal with the hand he was dealt.  I’m willing to cut him some slack over the fact he is never likely to challenge Stephen Hawking for a Nobel Prize.  His lack of intelligence does not justify his stupid and offensive comments, but we should recognise that others are culpable in broadcasting the man’s stupidity and offensiveness.

Television reporters and newspaper journalists follow Tyson around, sticking microphones and cameras in his face, hoping a stupid man will say a stupid thing, giving a new headline.  It has become the sporting version of the Jeremy Kyle Show, where people of limited intelligence are ridiculed for the entertainment and amusement of their ‘betters’.

Tyson Fury isn’t bright.  He is a boxer: he batters people for a living, and he’s quite good at it.  Fury’s opinions are as ignorant as they are offensive: responsible journalists and reporters should not encourage him by broadcasting his idiotic views, particularly to often impressionable young men who might think a World Champion sportsman is someone to be respected.

Meanwhile, journalists and broadcasters are sticking microphones and cameras in front of another man of limited intelligence.  Again, they hope a stupid man will say a stupid thing, generating a new headline.

This other stupid man never fails to give the media the idiotic soundbite they crave.  So far, he has argued that America should build a massive wall to keep-out Mexicans: he has mocked the disabled by mimicking the physical incapacity of someone who suffers from a congenital joint condition; and this week he called for all Muslims to be banned from the United States of America, all 1.6-Billion followers of the Islamic religion.

Of course, the idiot in this case is not a boxer, it is Donald Trump, the man leading the race to be the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the USA.

Tyson Fury and Donald Trump are not bright.

Journalists and reporters should stop treating their ignorant and offensive opinions as if they had any merit.  Stop broadcasting the views of clowns and bigots.

Being good at battering people in a boxing-ring or creatively combing hair to disguise the fact you’re going bald does not bestow wisdom. 

Stop sticking cameras and microphones in front of idiots.

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