The decision to knight Geoffrey Boycott has been condemned in light of the former England cricket captain’s assault conviction.
The 78-year-old, who is also a cricket broadcaster, has been included in Theresa May’s resignation honours for his service to sport.
It's a move that has been widely condemned by domestic violence advocacy groups and individuals across Britain such as Adina Claire, the co-acting chief executive of the charity Women’s Aid.
Boycott has been overlooked for a knighthood since a domestic violence conviction in 1998.
He was found guilty of beating his then girlfriend Margaret Moore, although has always proclaimed his innocence.
“Celebrating a man who was convicted for assaulting his partner sends a dangerous message – that domestic abuse is not taken seriously as a crime," Claire said.
Mandu Reid, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, added: “It is astonishing and hypocritical that Theresa May introduced the Domestic Abuse Bill as her last-ditch attempt at a domestic legacy while also approving a knighthood for a man convicted of domestic abuse . . . It is clear that the political establishment does not care about the scourge of violence against women.”
The outrage over Boycott's knighthood has also come in thick and fast on social media.
The knighthood of Geoff Boycott is teaching boys that our society apparently values their sporting achievements more than how they treat women. https://t.co/ZiSnwrVYV5— Luke & Ryan Hart (@CoCoAwareness) September 10, 2019
“It is astonishing and hypocritical that Theresa May introduced the Domestic Abuse Bill as her last-ditch attempt at a domestic legacy while also approving a knighthood for a man convicted of domestic abuse . . .” - @ManduReid https://t.co/8gt2G9xUvI— WomensEqualityUK (@WEP_UK) September 10, 2019
In case you're wondering why it's disgusting Geoffrey Boycott has been given a Knighthood... https://t.co/9GAmpCd5SQ— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) September 10, 2019
Dishonourable Geoffrey Boycott’s knighthood should be withdrawn before it’s conferred.— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) September 10, 2019
“That was 25 years ago, love. I don’t give a toss” to a female reporter asking about his domestic violence conviction suggests he needs help, not a title.
Knighthoods should be awarded for bravery above and beyond the call of duty, Geoffrey Boycott was convicted of domestic violence, he toured South Africa during apartheid era, he uses WW2 metaphors when talking about the EU, he's not honorable, but May loves cricket, I'm sickened.— Loz Argyle ⚓ (@ArgyleLoz) September 10, 2019
Hi everyone! If you - like me - think it's grotesque that convicted domestic abuser Geoffrey Boycott has been given a knighthood, why not email the Cabinet Office to complain? Look, I even dug the email out for you because I'm nice: email@example.com. RTs welcome!— Sirin Kale (@thedalstonyears) September 10, 2019
Over the last 10 years I have worked with an amazing sisterhood of activists, campaigners, carers & creators. The fact that none of them have been honoured today while Geoffrey Boycott has says everything about how we value and listen to and make space for females. #honourwomen— Sophie Walker (@SophieRunning) September 10, 2019
The UK honours system is absurd anyway, but a gong for Geoffrey Boycott is genuinely enraging. There’s a very@hood reason no other PM rewarded him before now. pic.twitter.com/Nfs7tGwx8c— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) September 10, 2019
It’s disgusting that Geoffrey Boycott has been given a knighthood.— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) September 10, 2019
When asked about why it had taken so long to receive the honour during an appearance on the BBC’s Today programme, Boycott implied his conviction was part of his decision to back Brexit. He said: “A court case in France is one of the reasons I didn’t vote to remain in Europe.”
When pressed on the matter, he added: "I don't give a toss about her love, it was 25 years ago.”
He added: "It's very difficult to prove your innocence in another country, in another language.
"I have to live with it - and I do. I'm clear in my mind, and I think most people in England are, that it's not true."
The incident happened in the south of France in 1996. Boycott was handed a three-month suspended sentence.
During the trial, the court heard that Boycott pinned Moore down, punched her 20 times and then checked out of the hotel. Boycott’s defence was that Moore had slipped after becoming angry that he wouldn’t marry her.
After the conviction, Boycott was dropped from his role as commentator by both the BBC and Sky, but was reinstated soon after and has become a regular part of the BBC’s Test Match Special Commentary team ever since.
In 2017 Boycott was forced to apologise after claiming he had been overlooked for honours because he was white. When asked about not yet having been awarded a knighthood he replied: “Mine’s been turned down twice. I’d better black me face.” Adding that they’d been given out to West Indian cricketers “like confetti”.
Earlier this year, a journalist asked former Prime Minister May “how many wickets would fall in her cabinet before she resigned as captain”, in reference to cabinet members who were resigning from her government at the time.
May replied: “One of my cricket heroes was always Geoffrey Boycott. [He] stuck to it and he got the runs in the end.”
A well-known cricket fan, she was also photographed watching England play at Lord’s on her first day as a backbencher after resigning as from office.
With Yahoo Sport UK