— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) October 10, 2021
Tyson Fury is Britain’s outstanding sporting superstar.
But he is unloved by the sporting establishment and held at arms length by the politicians and business people only too pleased to be associated with cut icons of tennis, rugby, cricket and the various amateur sports that feature in Olympic and Commonwealth games. We don’t like Tyson and he doesn’t much like us.
He refused to be a part of sports personality of the year last year and I doubt he will this. He is not the stuff of brands, he represents a way of life that has not been assimilated into our new “lifestyle”. I wasn’t able to watch the fight, but I followed it on the text updates on BBC sport and the feeds from twitter.
I’ve read the books and I’ve watched the programs about Tyson, he fascinates me, as do his family and his friends. The racism against the Romany people that exists in Britain is one of the ugliest surviving examples of Britain in the 20th century. There should be no quarrel between the Romany people and non Romany any more than there should be with other cultures.
But that is not the case, they continue to be treated with disrespect and expected to behave criminally. Tyson Fury can and should change that. He is a great person who stands up for boxing, Lancashire, his culture, his family and most of all himself. He is a big man, a top dog , he is champion of the world and I hope will eventually become undisputed champion. But right now that is not important.
What is important is that this great man uses his greatness for good and that will not happen if he remains at odds with organizations such as the BBC. It is time we worked out that though he is British, he is different and that he and Romany culture need to be allowed to remain different. We cannot expect Fury to play nicely, he is not “nice” in the way that Emma Radacanu and Joe Root are nice.
The alternative is that Fury loses interest and purpose which may mean him diving into the self-destructiveness vortex that , had it not been for boxing, would have undoubtedly destroyed him. If I met the man today, I would not know what to say – I don’t box, have never been to Morecambe and know nothing of the gipsy life.
But I would try to show him the respect he deserves. Fury now has to do something with himself and I suspect he will not find enough in boxing to contain him. He is a leader and he is respected as the Gypsy King, let’s hope that we can take him to our hearts and with him, the Romany people.