• Heavyweight

Holyfield in trouble with Big Brother for homophobic comments

ESPN staff
January 6, 2014
Holyfield entered the Celebrity Big Brother house with Luisa Zissman, runner-up from The Apprentice © PA Photos

Evander Holyfield faced the wrath of Celebrity Big Brother after the former four-time world heavyweight champion was filmed making a string of homophobic comments on the show.

Holyfield was talking to Luisa Zissman, a runner-up in The Apprentice, during the Channel Five programme, who asked the American whether any boxers had publicly announced they were gay. The 51-year-old responded, claiming it would not be "normal" for boxers to come out and went on to suggest homosexuality was something which could be "fixed."

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After Zissman stated it is good to be open about sexuality, Holyfield replied: "What would be good about it? That ain't normal."

Holyfield continued: "If you were born and your leg were turned this way, what do you do? You go to the doctor and get it fixed back right."

After Zissman questioned his view by stating homosexuality was not a choice, Holyfield responded: "It is a choice, come on, that ain't the way nobody is made."

Holyfield was later called into the Diary Room by Big Brother, who warned him over his comments but stopped short of formally reprimanding him over the comments.

"Before you entered the Big Brother house, the rules regarding unacceptable language and behaviour were explained to you. Last night, in a conversation with Luisa, you expressed the view that being gay was not normal and that it could be fixed," Big Brother said.

"While Big Brother understands these are the views you hold, they aren't the views that are held by a large section of society and expressing these views will be extremely offensive to many people. Do you understand why?"

Holyfield confirmed he understood, stating: "I forgot about the thing. I was just telling her my opinion, but it's not like I was gonna mention it to anybody else, that was just our conversation."

Last year, Orlando Cruz attempted to become the first openly gay world boxing champion, but lost to Orlando Salido in a WBO featherweight title fight.

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