Former heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield says being gay is not normal and he compared the sexual behavior to a handicap that needed fixing.
Holyfield, 51, made the controversial statements to reality star Luisa Zissman in the UK Celebrity Big Brother 2014 house in London, England, the Huffington Post reports.
Holyfield and Zissman were discussing gay boxers going public with their sexuality. "What would be good about it?" Holyfield asked. "That ain't normal."
Holyfield disagreed with the popular gay agenda theory that gays are born that way.
“If you were born and your leg was turned this way, then you’d go to the doctor and get it fixed back, right?” he said. Adding, "It is a choice. Come on, that ain't the way nobody is made... You ain't gay unless you sleeping with the opposite sex."
Gay public figures such as British singer Boy George were quick to respond to Holyfield's statements. "Shame, I had such admiration for Mr Evander Holyfield, he seemed dignified and I was sure he was a cool, smart, giant!," George tweeted. He added: "At customs there should be a huge sign! Welcome to Britain, racism, sexism, homophobia and bad hair are not tolerated!"
And a Big Brother producer reprimanded Holyfield for giving his opinion on such a touchy subject:
“Before entering the Big Brother house the rules regarding unacceptable language and behavior were explained to you," the producer said during Holyfield’s Diary Room segment. "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 I hope a large section of society and expressing the views will be offensive to many people,” the producer said. “Do you understand why?”
Holyfield reiterated that he was giving his opinion. “I forgot about the thing, I thought I was just telling her my opinion.”
But the producer reminded Holyfield that his freedom of speech is protected -- as long as he's not giving his opinions on the gays.
“Big Brother does not tolerate the use of offensive language and must therefore warn you to consider very carefully the effect expressing such views may have and the harm and offense you may cause by repeating those views inside the house,” the producer scolded. “You understand, Evander?”
“I do,” Holyfield said meekly.