British Boxer Chris Eubank Jr. Wears Rainbow Armband to Show Support for the LGBTQ+ Community
Entertainment News | Sports News
During a weigh-in for his upcoming match, British boxer Chris Eubank Jr. wore a rainbow armband on his left arm in support of the LGBTQ community after his opponent made homophobic comments at their previous press conference.
The weigh-in quickly turned heated when Eubank Jr.’s opponent Liam Smith remarked on Eubank’s sexuality. “You go on about girls, has anybody in this room ever seen you with a girl? You got something to tell us?” Smith said.
To which Eubank Jr. responded by calling his personal life “irrelevant to boxing”
He followed up by saying, “I am happy and comfortable. What would you like to know, Liam? If you want to get personal, talking about being gay? “I’ve been told you cheat on your wife.”
Smith’s remarks proved to be controversial amongst fans and members of the LGBTQ community.
In response to his comments, Stonewall, a British LGBTQ+ charity, called on the sports community to reprimand Smith for his comments to Eubanks Jr.
A spokesperson for Stonewall told the Independent: “Homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic comments have no place in sport. It’s vital that the sports authorities take instances like this seriously and make clear that anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric will not be tolerated by taking decisive action.
Following the backlash, The British Boxing Board of Control confirmed that they would further investigate Eubank’s Jr.'s and Smith’s conduct.
In a statement, they said, “The BBBofC are aware of the comments made by Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr at yesterday's press conference, and the Stewards of The Board will be considering the conduct of both Boxers directly.”
Eubank Jr. took to Twitter to post a photo of himself sporting the rainbow armband with the caption “We don’t discriminate… we don’t alienate. We want boxing & sport as a whole, to be all-inclusive.”
Smith would later apologize for his comments in a post-fight interview saying “I apologize to anyone offended by what I said. I’m not homophobic in any way, shape, or form, I’m far from it. That’s not me as a man,” Smith said. “If anyone’s offended and I’ve come across that way, I apologize.”
Chris Eubanks Jr. ultimately lost his match against Liam Smith as he suffered a fourth-round stoppage loss, but he certainly kept his integrity and dignity as a human being who supports others regardless of their sexuality.