I love the Leytonstone hashtag, though it’s pretty rubbish that onlookers would rather capture the idiot on their phones rather than collectively jump the man.
The other weekend idiot was Tyson Fury and I have adapted the hashtag for him. On one thing the boxer is right; he didn’t choose to become a role model. But it’s a by-product of our celebrity culture that he’s become one. There is no Role Model Selection Committee as there is for public appointments. It just got foisted on him.
A boxing champion is what many youngsters aspire to and in the past many, like Henry Cooper and Frank Bruno, conducted themselves as gentlemen. Fury’s rants over homosexuality in particular have rightly provoked widespread outrage.
There’s a body called the British Board of Boxing Control that is going to meet on Wednesday to discuss his poisonous message. Wednesday? Do they not realise the damage he is doing to their sport on a daily basis? They appear to be too sleepy a bunch to act in realtime like the rest of us.
Sadly this is also true of the BBC. To have not taken him off the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist suggests they don’t think his comments were harmful. Now, they could receive 75,000 strong petitions calling for all sorts of bigotry and I don’t think this is a simple numbers issue. He wouldn’t be allowed to get away with saying about homosexuality if he was targeting black people, so why has our public service broadcaster not provided here the service the public deserves?