Evander Holyfield Whips Up A Storm Of Controversy Following On-Screen Homophobic Rant
The former boxing champ has caused outrage with his archaic views of homosexuality
Evander Holyfield entered the Celebrity Big Brother house on Friday, 3 January, and his gentle giant demeanour made him one of the early favourites to take home the crown when the umpteenth season of the the reality show draws to an end. It took him mere hours to end all hopes of staying in the show until the end and simultaneously become one of the most publicly despised men in Britain.
Evander seemed to have a good chance in the house at first
Holyfield caused outrage when, in what he assumed was a private discussion with The Apprentice runner-up Luisa Zissman, he revealed his personal opinion regarding same sex relationships, an opinion that doesn't exactly fit in with modern opinion. The 51-year-old former boxing champion shocked both Zissman and the nation with his off-hand remarks, in which he claimed "it ain't normal" being gay.
"I think it's really bad that no one stands up and says it in the sports industry," Zissman told Holyfield, who then gave his personal reason as to why he thinks homosexuals tend to remain closeted in sport. The ex-boxer, who famously lost part of his ear to Mike Tyson, who bit off part of the extremity during the infamous 1997 rematch for the WBA Heavyweight Championship, responded by asking "What would be good about it?"
"I think it's good to be open like that because it's normal," Zissman then replied, to which Holyfield said, "But that ain't normal."
Zissman and Holyfield entered the CBB house together
The Georgia-native tried to use his religious background and teachings to explain his opinions, saying that the Bible "lets you know there's wrong," but Zissman still couldn't get her head around his opinion, arguing that people don't chose to be gay. Holyfield waded into even deeper water then, comparing homosexuality to a disability that can be fixed. He continued, "It don't make no difference. If you're born and your leg were turned this way, what do you do? You go to a doctor and get it fixed back right."
Zissman then tried to change the topic of conversation, but the damage had already been done, and the viewers at home were calling Channel 5 en mass to voice their outrage. The former boxer was called into the Diary Room the following day and was told why his views may be seen as offensive, but Holyfield still didn't seem to really understand why. He left the diary room without apologising for his remarks and oblivious to the outrage building outside the house.
Social network sites have become awash with outraged comments, with singer Boy George stepping into the debate too with his own Twitter remarks. There have since been numerous calls to have Holyfield evicted from the house, but for the time being he remains in the Celebrity Big Brother house.
Shame, I had such admiration for Mr Evander Holyfield, he seemed dignified and I was sure he was a cool, smart, giant!— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) January 5, 2014
Should Holyfield be booted out of the house?