Boxing champion Tyson Fury has asked the BBC to take him off the shortlist for the Sports Personality of the Year award.
Fury posted a video on social media saying he was the “people’s champion and I’ve no need for verification or any awards”.
Standing in front of his championship belts, he added: “I know who I am and what I’ve done in sports. The love of the people is worth more to me than all the awards in the world.
“So to all of my supporters, please don’t vote on this. Take me off the list. All my love, Tyson Fury, the Gypsy King.”
The heavyweight champion beat undefeated Deontay Wilder in stunning fashion in February, and is one of six people on a list that includes F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and snooker great Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Fury reclaimed the world title after struggling with his mental health, including depression and drug use that he said pushed him to the brink of suicide.
Hi this is Tyson fury the gypsy king, this is a message for the @bbcsport and there spoty award, please take me off your list as I’m the people’s champion and have no need for verification or any awards. I know who I am & what iv done in sport. I have the love of the people… pic.twitter.com/iwNYblTZG4
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) December 2, 2020
His previous appearance on the shortlist in 2015 caused controversy, with more than 100,000 people signing a petition to get him removed over sexist and homophobic comments.
He finished fourth and used his moment on stage to apologise to anyone hurt by his comments, which he claimed were often “a bit tongue in cheek”.
The winner of this year’s award is decided by public vote during a special live programme on 20 December.
Bookmakers still fancy the 32-year-old as a good bet – he’s joint second favourite with O’Sullivan, according to PaddyPower.
Lewis Hamilton, who this year equalled Michael Schumacher’s tally of seven world titles, is favourite.
The F1 great first won the award in 2014, but this year claimed his fourth championship in a row.