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Justice Is Served


November 13, 2009 12:04 PM

Tyson's rage: Tired act lasted too long

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I don't know how anybody in America can be surprised at what Mike Tyson does. Tyson's thuggish behavior had stopped engendering sympathy long before the turn of this new century. 


He has had more brushes with the legal system than any professional athlete whose life plays out under the white-hot glare of the global spotlight, and, for whatever reason, despite his lack of penitence, Tyson fascinates some people who see him for what he isn't: a decent man.


His life is one misstep after another, a life lived much the way that Britney Spears has led hers. No scandal is too big to sidestep; no rumor too embarrassing to disprove. Trouble has trailed Tyson like a bloodhound, as his latest arrest demonstrated.


Now, I can only imagine what a photographer was trying to accomplish in taking a picture of Tyson at an airport. I know the prying eyes of a photographer's camera have access to a celebrity wherever he travels. From Buenos Aires to Bombay, a pro athlete of Tyson's fading stature is still a good subject for any photographer to shoot. 



But, as I found out the other day, the price for taking that photo of Tyson, 43, might be blood. 


According to reports, Tyson was traveling with his entourage on a trip to London when a freelance photographer spotted him at Los Angeles International Airport.  The rest is he said, he said. 


What is certain is that Tyson and the photographer got arrested, and the photographer spent time in the hospital before being booked on misdemeanor battery charges, the same charges as Tyson. The two men were released on signature bonds, according to various media reports. 


According to reports, Tyson was traveling with his entourage on a trip to London when a freelance photographer spotted him at Los Angeles International Airport.  The rest is he said, he said. 


What is certain is that Tyson and the photographer got arrested, and the photographer spent time in the hospital before being booked on misdemeanor battery charges, the same charges as Tyson. The two men were released on signature bonds, according to various media reports. 


The photographer accused Tyson of destroying his video camera, and he also claimed the bruises and cuts he was nursing were the result of Tyson's rage.


The rage would be vintage Tyson. Rage was what turned Tyson into a fearsome prizefighter back when he was a relevant figure in the sweet science. The fame and the adulation that came with it lasted for longer than it should. For he was a bore; he was the worst kind of athlete -- someone who disrespected his profession and the people who enjoyed it. 


I guess some people do find Tyson fascinating. In some ways, I suppose I do, because I must marvel at a man who can squander $225 million-plus as quickly as he did. 


Fascination has a short self-life when people hear endless tales of conduct that has no place in a civilized society. From rape to drunken driving to cocaine possession to additional allegations of using his fists in fury outside the ring, Tyson has had as much written about his crimes than about the exploits that made him famous.  


Tyson's latest incident in LAX might earn him more jail time. He was already on probation in Arizona for the drunk-driving charge, and the arrest puts him at risk.


I'd say good. I can't say Tyson is guilty. I wasn't there, but I'm tired of hearing about what Mike Tyson has done wrong. I'd prefer to hear nothing about him at all. 



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