Mike Tyson’s NYT Op-Ed Atones for Everything – Except Rape

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is having a moment.

There’s his new memoir – Undisputed Truth – co-authored with Larry Sloman.

And HBO’s Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.

And Fox Sports’ Being: Mike Tyson.

And, especially, yesterday’s op-ed in the New York Times.

Even though I possessed incredible discipline when it came to boxing, I didn’t have the tools to stop my slide into addiction. When I got a chance to get high — boom, I’d get high. I wouldn’t call my sponsor, wouldn’t call my therapist, wouldn’t call my sober companions.

No, in order to kick it, I had to replace the cravings for drugs or alcohol with a craving to be a better person.

And then there’s this: “Of course, I needed a developed conscience to back it up. Over the years, my conscience has saved me from descending into a life of total, selfish hedonistic abuse.”

And Tyson goes on from there to chronicle the struggle between his hedonistic excesses and his determination “to live a better life for the sake of my family,” including his 2009 vow “to get sober after the accidental death of my 4-year-old girl, Exodus.”

But nowhere in the op-ed does Tyson’s developed conscience express any remorse for his 1992 rape of 18-year-old college student Desiree Washington (reported here in, yes, the Times).

If I’m the editorial page editor of the Times (that would be Andrew Rosenthal), I’d make damn sure Tyson included that among his mea culpas.

But then I’m not, am I?

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7 Responses to Mike Tyson’s NYT Op-Ed Atones for Everything – Except Rape

  1. Al says:

    Where is the thought process that comes to the conclusion that an Op-Ed written by Mike Tyson should even be in the Times? Who is curious about his opinion about anything besides how to throw a punch, or not choose tattoos for ones face?

    • My wife had the same question, albeit not as politely expressed. And she LIKES boxing.

      • Campaign Outsider says:

        Yeah, I’ve always loved boxing too (the old man and I used to watch the Friday Night Gillette Blue Blade fights in NY on b&w TV).

        And I especially love boxing writers like A.J. Liebling (The Sweet Science) and W.C. Heinz. But I HATED Mike Tyson. (I also hated Muhammed Ali for torturing Floyd Patterson in 1965 – but there’s possibly more to that story than anyone knew at the time: http://bit.ly/1azFTeQ)

        I remember I was in Chicago (it was snowing like crazy – in November!) in 1996 when Evander Holyfield beat him for the first time. Man, that was a good day.


    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Good questions, Al. Answer: Tyson is the flavor of the month.


  2. Bill says:

    Especially over the past year, I’m having trouble figuring out what and who the NY Times wants to be: serious paper of record? Gathering hole for high-class pundits and opinionators? Voice of the average Joe/Jane? Early insight on latest upcoming “trends” (most of which are bogus or never happen)? Style and fashion guide (how to wear those pearls on the subway)? Sages on the mountaintop telling the White House Democrats and DC Republicans what they should be doing? Cheerleading for various causes? Highlighter of obscure events that may mean something, someday soon? Kitchen, cooking, homemaker guide? All of the above?
    In short: the NY Times seems to be trying to be all things to all audiences–always a tough marketing and mental spot to own, IMO. And it’s no longer clear what their expertise is that they bring to the party, since they are going to so many parties, and all at once.
    Regardless of whether I agree or not with their news slant (oh, sorry, I forgot: they don’t have one) I find it an increasingly difficult thing to read, so much clutter, so many things seem to be important. (And the movie reviews are more cryptic than ever: often hard to figure out what the movie was about, or what the reviewer thought of it. Duh…that’s all I ask for!)

  3. Pingback: Mike Tyson Gets a NYT Op-Ed Piece, but Michael Vick Gets Attacked? Huh? | Campaign Outsider

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