Evander Holyfield used to take hits in the ring — now he’s taking them in the court of public opinion over his televised comments on gay people.
Appearing on the U.K. version of reality television show “Celebrity Big Brother,” the former boxing champion said that homosexuality was a “choice,” and likened the sexual orientation to someone who was born handicapped, the Daily Mail reported.
“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,” Mr. Holyfield said. “It is a choice, come on, that ain’t the way nobody is made.”
He went on to say that the Bible teaches people what is right and what is wrong — and that homosexuality is wrong.
The show’s host then took the boxer to task: “Before you entered the Big ‘Brother’ house, the rules regarding unacceptable language and behavior 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.
“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?’” the host said.
“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,” Mr. Holyfield said.
The incident sparked a flurry of admonitions on Twitter.
• Douglas Ernst can be reached at email@example.com.
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