‘It’s still acceptable to be racist to travellers’: Tyson Fury says he is repeatedly subjected to racism in the UK

Tom Kershaw
The Independent
Tyson Fury told people to 'listen to Boris and stay at home' during the UK lockdown: Instagram/@gypsyking101
Tyson Fury told people to 'listen to Boris and stay at home' during the UK lockdown: Instagram/@gypsyking101

Tyson Fury has revealed that he is frequently subjected to racist abuse in the UK due to his traveller heritage and was refused entry to a bar in 2016 that displayed a “no gypsies allowed” sign on the door.

The WBC heavyweight champion added that he believes abuse towards travellers is considered “the most acceptable form of racism in Britain and in the world at the moment”.

Fury addressed the subject while speaking on Good Morning Britain, following the global protests over racial inequality sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a white police officer in Minnesota, US.

“I’m a white male, but I suffer racism in 2020, as a white person, because I’m a traveller and I come from an ethnic background,” Fury said on Wednesday morning.

“Even today, you go into pubs, bars and restaurants and it may say on the door ‘we reserve the right not to let travellers in. No travellers allowed, gypsies or travellers.’ It’s not just black people who suffer racism.

“I think travellers are the most acceptable form of racism, in Britain and in the world at the moment. It’s still acceptable to be racist towards travellers – nothing ever gets done about it, no one ever says anything it, it’s just accepted. That’s it, it is what it is.”

Fury continued by adding that “anyone can be a racist” and that “it needs to change”, joining the calls of fellow sportsmen, such as England internationals Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.

After defeating Wladimir Klitschko, Fury said he was turned away by a restaurant-bar due to being a traveller despite winning the world heavyweight championship just months earlier.

“It’s terrible because you can’t judge everybody with the same brush,” he said. “To have such things go on in my life, and everything that I’ve been through, to see that on boards or whatever...

“It said ‘no gypsies allowed’, I said ‘what you talking about?’ and they said ‘no gypsies allowed.’

“I said ‘I’m a world heavyweight champion boxer representing this country, I’m not just some gypsy’, and she said ‘yeah but you are a traveller, no travellers allowed.’

“I know what it feels like to be racist towards, unacceptable behaviour at any time of the year and from anybody. And it ain’t just whites, blacks or browns who can be racist – anyone can be a racist person, any colour, any background, it doesn’t matter. It needs to change.”

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