2014 is a mere six days old and already, we’ve got our first public anti-gay tirade from a quasi-celebrity.
On Sunday (Jan. 5), during an episode of the U.K.’s “Celebrity Big Brother,” boxer Evander Holyfield picked up the Phil Robertson Award for Media Sensitivity when he compared homosexuality to a disability, saying that both are treatable by a doctor.
Holyfield made his scholarly comparison after reality star Luisa Zissman asked him if there were any gay boxers. He tells her he thinks so, but that nothing good would come from their coming out. “That ain’t normal!” he answers. “The Bible lets you know that’s wrong and that’s right.”
As she tries to end the conversation, realizing it was a mistake to even begin it in the first place, Holyfield presses on, moving into his “handicap” analogy. “If you were born, and your leg was turned this way, what do you do? Go to the doctor and get it fixed … The only think I’m trying to tell you is you know how handicapped people, you can’t say because they’re born that way you can’t move that … Yes, it is a choice.”
Following the conversation, Holyfield was called out by producers of the series. Seen alone in a confessional room, the boxer was told his comments were “inappropriate” and they “aren’t the views that are held by a large section of society.” He was warned to refrain from sharing that particular opinion again, but allowed to remain on the show.
Holyfield’s son, Ewin Holyfield, rose to his dad’s defense on Monday, telling TMZ, “My dad is the most loving and caring person you will ever meet. He
treats everyone like a human being … even if they are homosexual.”
Even if? How sweet of him.
Check out the video footage of Holyfield’s incident above, courtesy of TMZ.