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Greg Rutherford won't withdraw from Spoty awards over Tyson Fury comments

Greg Rutherford was rumoured to be withdrawing from the event. Photo: PA

Great British athlete Greg Rutherford has denied he will pull out of Sports Personality of the year if Tyson Fury isn't removed from the list of nominees.

It had been reported that the long jumper would withdraw from the event due to Fury's comments regarding homosexuality and paedophilia.

Rutherford has confirmed he has spoken with the BBC, saying the organisation have been receptive of his comments.

The athlete has admitted he did request to be omitted from the shortlist on Sunday but has since decided to remain part of the nominees list.

Tyson Fury has caused controversy with his views. Credit: PA

I have been in discussions with the BBC regarding my involvement with SPOTY after hearing what I believe to be very out-dated and derogatory comments from a fellow SPOTY nominee.

Everybody has the right to freedom of speech, which is something that we as a society have struggled with and fought for generations to get to where we are now but by the nature of these comments, undermine the struggles that we have been through.

As such, I wanted to speak with the BBC about sharing a stage with somebody that had views that are so strongly against my own. After doing so, I can confirm that reports that I am withdrawing from the ceremony are not true.

The BBC have been hugely supportive in hearing my own views and I am hugely honoured and privileged to be included on the shortlist for such a prestigious event alongside so many remarkable sporting personalities, majority of whom I will proudly say to my son I had the chance to meet.

– Greg Rutherford
Greg Rutherford reconsidered his decision to withdraw. Credit: PA

Rutherford later tweeted he did request to be withdrawn from the SPOTY shortlist on Sunday, but reconsidered his decision and will now attend the ceremony.

Rutherford said: "I have opinions, of which I was privately clear. I DID pull out of SPOTY, on Sunday I wrote to the BBC requesting removal.

"Throughout the next 2 days the SPOTY team asked me to stay on. Also, I realised my nomination meant so much to my family.

"I then asked myself, do I really want to disappoint my own family just because of a bigot’s views? The answer was no.

"Next thing I know, someone leaks my withdrawal request and the private decision I've made suddenly changes to something much bigger.

"So, I will still attend SPOTY, to make my family proud and to thank them for the support in my career, and that’s what I plan to do."

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