Andy West, the BBC journalist suspended for his remarks over his network’s nomination of a homophobic boxer for the Sports Person of the Year award, remains on suspension and has no idea when (and if) he’ll return to work.
West revealed he isn’t allowed to discuss his suspension but gave his thoughts about it in a YouTube video posted Sunday, which has since been deleted.
Sporting a full month-off-the-job beard, West recounted the moment he tweeted he was “ashamed” to work for the BBC, which refused to rescind boxer Tyson Fury’s Sports Person of the Year nomination even after he likened homosexuality to pedophilia.
He said he is not, however, remorseful in the slightest.
The Belfast Telegraph reports:
Mr West said: “I’m not really meant to say anything, but I wanted to just say that I chose between being an objective journalist and being a human being with thoughts and opinions with principles.”
He acknowledged that “I shouldn’t have given my opinion on something that was current” but said that at the same time he “couldn’t forget the little boy I was when I was nine or 10 at school and I was being bullied for being camp and being gay”.
At one point, his partner interrupted him during the recording for a kiss and told him he would be the next Graham Norton.
Mr West went on to say: “I’ve almost ruined my career because my employer is saying someone who is saying I’m akin to a paedophile is worthy of a pedestal in front of other people, and that’s what I take exception to.”
“He’s [Fury] made money, he’s got his belts. I think the BBC has made a mistake. I’ve no problem with him expressing his opinion. I’ve got a problem with the BBC saying this is someone we should look up to as Sports Personality of the Year.”
Fury officially apologized for the comments live during the SPOTY ceremony, saying they were “tongue-in-cheek” and were not intended to offend.
“It’s all very tongue-in-cheek, it’s all fun and games to me,” Fury said to a booing audience. “I’m not a very serious kind of person. Everything’s very happy-go-lucky with Tyson Fury. If I said anything in the past that’s hurt anybody, I apologize to anybody that’s been hurt out there. It’s not my intention to do that.”
It remains unclear if and when Andy West will return to work for the BBC.