Tyson Fury apologizes for anti-Semitic, anti-transgender remarks

Heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, who has made many offensive remarks in recent years, apologized Monday for his latest comments in an Internet video in which he made anti-Semitic and anti-transgender comments.

"I apologize to anyone who may have taken offense at any of my comments," Fury said in a statement. "I said some things which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do. Though it is not an excuse, sometimes the heightened media scrutiny has caused me to act out in public.

"I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone, and I know more is expected of me as an ambassador of British boxing, and I promise in future to hold myself up to the highest possible standard. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am in no way a racist or bigot, and I hope the public accept this apology."

Last week, Fury was interviewed by the video outlet SportsView London, and he said of Jews, "Everyone just do what you can. Listen to the government. Follow everybody like sheep. Be brainwashed by all the Zionist Jewish people who own all the banks, all the papers, all the TV stations. Be brainwashed by them all."

On Friday, the British watchdog group Campaign Against Anti-Semitism complained to the British Boxing Board of Control about Fury's video.

Of transgender people, Fury said, "It's like you're a freak of nature if you're normal. You're the odd one out -- nobody else. What's normal? I'll just get myself changed into a woman. That's normal, isn't it? Today call myself Tysina or something like that, put a wig on. I don't think it's normal. I think they're freaks of nature.

"I think it'll be perfectly normal in the next 10 years to have sexual relationships with your animals at home -- you know, your pets, your cats and dogs and all that -- so that will be legal."

Fury's statement added, "As a man of Traveller heritage, Mr. Fury has suffered bigotry and racial abuse throughout his life, and as such would never wish anyone to suffer the same. He has many friends of a wide range of backgrounds and races and wishes no ill to anyone of any race, religion or sexual orientation.

"Mr. Fury is a devout Christian and a family man. However, he accepts that in the past, he has said things publicly which are misrepresentative of his beliefs and usual good character. He appreciates he has a duty as the heavyweight champion of the world. He knows it comes with certain responsibilities and anything he says publicly will be heavily scrutinized. Mr. Fury now wishes to move past this and instead concentrate on what he does best, which is boxing."

Last year, Fury made offensive comments about homosexuals, women and pedophilia, after which more than 100,000 people signed an online petition to have him removed from the ballot for the BBC's 2015 sports personality of the year.

In November, Fury (25-0, 18 KOs), 27, pulled a major upset when he outpointed long-reigning world champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs), 40, to win the heavyweight title in Dusseldorf, Germany. Fury and Klitschko are scheduled to meet in a rematch on July 9 (HBO) at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.