Tyson Fury has been branded a "dickhead" by a BBC presenter live on air as more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling for the boxer's removal from the Sports Personality Of The Year shortlist.
Clive Myrie made the remark about the new world heavyweight champion during a late night newspaper review on the BBC News channel.
Fury, 27, has been controversially nominated for the BBC's flagship sport award following his outspoken comments about homosexuality.
An online petition set up by LGBT campaigner Scott Cuthbertson has already collected more than 100,000 signatures demanding that he is removed from the list.
During a discussion on Fury on Monday night, Myrie looked at his watch and said: "It's after the watershed. You cannot be a dickhead and win Sports Personality Of The Year."
He went on: "Now the question is, according to those people who are signing this petition, that he potentially is the latter, even though he is an amazing sportsman."
A BBC spokeswoman said: "We apologise to any viewers who were offended by the language Clive Myrie used during a discussion on the late night paper review on the News Channel."
Fury, who stunned Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA, IBF and WBO belts earlier this month, has been accused of expressing homophobic views.
During an interview with The Mail On Sunday he said: "There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home: one of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other one's paedophilia."
Fury has also been accused of sexism after a YouTube video emerged of the boxer saying Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill "slaps up good", before adding: "A woman's best place is in the kitchen and on her back - that's my personal belief."
The BBC has so far refused to remove Fury from the 12-person shortlist, with the winner of the award set to be announced on December 20.
A BBC spokeswoman said: "Tyson Fury's victory and subsequent crowning as world heavyweight champion was widely covered by media outlets and his inclusion on the shortlist is similarly recognition of his sporting achievement - it is not about endorsing his personal views. It will be for the public to decide who will be crowned Sports Personality of the Year 2015."