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Sunday, 14 May, 2000, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Should Mike Tyson be allowed to fight in Glasgow?

Heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson's promoters are considering bringing the controversial figure's next fight to Glasgow.

When Tyson, who has a conviction for rape, fought in Manchester in January, it provoked equal measures of anger and delight.

UK immigration laws state that anyone who has served a jail sentence of over a year will be refused entry to the country unless there are exceptional circumstances.

So should Tyson, who has many fans on this side of the Atlantic, be granted a permit to fight in Scotland? HAVE YOUR SAY

I expect if this was a normal person that hasn't got the amount of money Mike has would get refused entry, this goes to show that money can buy you anything. He should be refused entry. Laws are there to protect us lets uphold them.
Mark, UK

Mike should be given a chance to box. as a boxer he was,is and everwill be the best.give him recognition, he will reform, after all he is a human being.
Dilip Sharma, India

Let the guy fight. Why should we still hate the guy. He is a human. Bill Clinton did something wrong, and was accepted. Why should Mike be treated differently. We should learn to forgive and forget. No one says he was right for raping, but lets give him a chance. please forgive and forget
Sanusi

Mike Tyson should go to Scotland and he should stay there!!!! Maybe you don't have enough rapists or earbiters there. Shame on those who put profit before human decency.
Richard, USA



I was amused, if not shocked at the hero-worship accorded Mike Tyson during his recent visit to fight in the UK

Ernest Middleton
As a Brit living in North America for the past 30-odd years, I was amused, if not shocked at the hero-worship accorded Mike Tyson during his recent visit to fight in the UK. Tyson is looked upon, by whites at least, as a dirty, ear-biting rapist, who should have been sentenced to sit out his last fight in the electric chair. Let's face it . . . someone's hand was greased by a lot of money to permit Tyson to slip under the immigration law barbed wire. If you think Tyson is a fighter, keep your eyes open for Nova Scotian boxer Kirk Johnson, a Canadian with deep-down religious convictions - not criminal ones. Tyson has expressed a desire to meet with Johnson in the ring. We await Tyson's visit.
Ernest J. Middleton, Nova Scotia, Canada

He should never, never, ever, be allowed to fight again in any ring, any where in the world. The man [and I use the word loosely] is nothing but a animal. Sorry I am wrong, an animal wouldn't behave like him.
Gerry Shaw, Canada

This isn't a matter of social, moral or political correctness. It's a matter of sport and the sportsman being able to pursue his career! It's a sad day for common sense when silly groups who usually believe that we should not cast the first stones - perhaps punch the first punch in this case -are always the first to do so.
A Carpenter, UK



I am surprised that a man like Mike who served his prison term can not move freely meanwhile, Nazi war criminals are so free to settle where they like

Hamilton Arrey
I am surprised that a man like Mike who served his prison term can not move freely meanwhile, Nazi war criminals are so free to settle where they like.
Hamilton Arrey, Ayuk, US

I think it's really sad that anyone would want to watch boxing regardless of who was in the ring. As for Mike Tyson. What can I say ?
Rich, UK

People do make mistakes, and if he did make one, we should not try to ruin his life for it. He deserves a break and another chance, so let's give him that.
Rachid, USA

This only goes to prove that even the United Kingdom bows to the US dollar. I guess the UK thinks rapist are evil, unless they can generate income into the local economy. We're stuck with him over here. Your actions are inexcusable.
R. McManus, Boston, USA

He shouldn't have been allowed in the country in the first instance. The laws are there for a reason and I don't see why just because the guy has a lot of money they shouldn't apply to him. While I'm in the US I have to abide by immigration laws here. Why doesn't he have to abide by the immigration laws of the UK?
Claire McMurdo, USA/Scotland



The whole thing is most distasteful to say the least, and smacks of double standards

PG
Of course he shouldn't be let in. Of course he will be let in, like last time. I wonder if many of this man's defenders and sympathisers would take the same view if he were a convicted paedophile. Letting a man, who overpowered a woman into unconsenting sex, come over here to again show his strength and power as something to be feared and awed, is just encouraging neanderthals like Tyson that his undoubted "talents" as a boxer give him the right to break the law. Straw will let him in, though, because in his mind he does not represent the same threat as the thousands of innocent child asylum seekers whom this government are determined to detain in camps. The whole thing is most distasteful to say the least, and smacks of double standards. But then, that's governments for you.
PG, Scotland

Since they let Mike Tyson in last January, as an economic immigrant from Equatorial Guinea, seeking a better life in the UK, can I get in as well? Who should I talk to to obtain a visa. Jack Straw?
Jose Luis Asu Mangue, Equatorial Guinea

Britain is an advanced society and respectable one too. I am an African living in North America. The USA justice system is the one that convicted Mike Tyson. The Americans never convicted him. He is still loved by people. It is sad to say that in the USA there are double standards in their justice system. . . British people should not followed the Americans in condemning Mike Tyson, they should give the guy a fair chance.
Toyin Ogunsuyi, Canada



It would seem Jack Straw doesn't think that a conviction of rape isn't a heinous enough crime

Glenda
It would seem Jack Straw doesn't think that a conviction of rape isn't a heinous enough crime. . . Wonder what he would think if it were a man Mike was convicted of raping?
Glenda, USA

Yes, I think he should. He's obviously still got something to prove.
Angie Key, England

He should not be allowed into Scotland. I am Scottish born and if it were me coming to the USA I would not be allowed into the States so why is he so different, laws are laws for everybody.
Wull, USA

I wonder why is BBC asking this question again. He was let in, and rightfully so, last time. Also using the expression "convicted rapist" is somewhat dubious itself as we all know that the rape as such is sometimes a "twilight" case and that the US judicial system with all the so called amendments is so construed that it allows often quilty go free and innocent being executed. To those who say Tyson has 'served his time' in my view the time wasn't long enough - he should still be in prison. Therefore one should not cite US court decisions as final truth of a person or his crime. Beyond any doubt Mike Tyson is a horrible person but also a show star and what is also certain is that when visiting another country he certainly does not pose a danger to its citizens or females.
Mikko Toivonen, Finland



Tyson has done his time so let the human being be

Tom Carroll
Mike Tyson has been convicted for the heinous crime of rape. He has served his time in an American prison for this particular crime. A civilised society should not believe in retribution after a sentence has been served i.e. once a person has done 'time' they should be considered 'cleansed'. What we have here is people who do not wish to embrace the proper justice system and wish to perpetrate a revenge system. Tyson has done his time so let the human being be! Tyson should fight who ever he wants whenever he wants without all this rapid media attention.
Tom Carroll, Scotland

To those who say Tyson has 'served his time' in my view the time wasn't long enough - he should still be in prison. Yet again in recent days he has allegedly shown he has no ability to control his temper. Any other person in modern society would have the book thrown at them when they transgress society's standards as often as this man. What happened to the US rules of '3 strikes and your out'? Quite simple really - money talks, and this is a classic case of too many greedy people making too much money out of this disturbed man to allow the normal rules to be applied to him. The 'sport' of boxing continues to scale new heights of cynicism in the pursuit of 'cheap thrills' and filthy lucre.
Mark, UK

I wonder how many people who are now freely in the UK and who also do not qualify for being there. Just because Tyson was a naughty boy (but served his sentence) critics blow up this issue. Last time he was allowed, so there is no genuine reason at all to refuse him this time. Let's stop making elephants out of mosquitos and pick on issues that really matter. Have we nothing better to do?
Han de Min, Netherlands

Your Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair is responsible for many deaths in Iraq by his cruel sanctions and he is your leader, what's wrong with Mike Tyson?
Abdinasir Mohamed, Somalia

If Tyson fights in Glasgow I'm there, because we never get a chance to go to the other side of the Atlantic for other fights and bringing it closer to home would enable a larger variety of audience to watch. I think he represents heavyweight boxing as a living legend.
Ali Salcan, Turkey



We should not let rapists into this country

Anna, UK
I don't care if fans are disappointed, I don't care if he generates a lot of money. The man is a rapist. We should not let rapists into this country, it doesn't matter who they are, or what they do.
Anna, UK

Mike Tyson may be a great boxer, he may be a showman, but he is a convicted rapist and as a Scot I do not want my country to be associated in any way with such a man.
Peter Smyth, Scotland



The majority of the public want to see him fight, so of course let him fight

JF, Scotland
Why does the media always refer to him as "Mike Tyson, the man who has a conviction for rape" yet when it comes to people like George Michael you never mention his conviction or many other sports stars I could mention. The majority of the public want to see him fight, so of course let him fight in the UK. His pay per view figures speak louder than words any way!
JF, Scotland

Let Tyson fight for God's sake. Its not like he's coming to reside there!
Patrick, US

Let him come. Hampden really needs some revenue as our national stadium is plunging into debt.
Neil, Scotland

He should be allowed to fight, whereever he chooses to fight, because that's his job.
Sheikh Sey, The Gambia



This time the rules should be applied, and it should be made clear from the start that they will be applied

John, UK
Last time Jack Straw wimped out to avoid upsetting the organisers. This time the rules should be applied, and it should be made clear from the start that they will be applied. If the organisers go ahead anyway they can't claim they weren't warned. The immigration officers should also be equipped with the means to restrain him if it comes to that.
John B, UK

I like Mike Tyson very much. He is a good boxer. Please let him fight in Glasgow.
Eastain Sakala, Zambia



I think it will be an act of stupidity to stop Tyson

Rajesh, India
If Mike Tyson is the best in his field, then nobody should stop him in his career. Government is only an instrument as a factor controlling the life of an individual as long as he is free. I think it will be an act of stupidity to stop Tyson. It's an international event so it's better to respect the interest of millions of fans out there.
Rajesh, India

Bring Tyson back. I think Tyson has to be allowed back into the country because he generates mega-money whereever he fights.
Charlie, England



I bet the same people that try to stop him fighting, are sitting watching his fights

Steve, Netherlands
A big yes to Tyson fighting in Scotland, Wales, England or anywhere else in Europe. Regardless of what Tyson is/has been, his fights are always entertaining and pull large numbers of bums on seats. I bet the same people that try to stop him fighting, are sitting watching his fights!
Steve, Netherlands

Tyson should fight in Scotland. He did the crime and did the time.
Anthony Guest, England

With his criminal conviction Tyson should not be allowed to enter the country, let alone fight! After being convicted for assault, rape, and the Evander Holyfield incident, I cannot believe he is still allowed to enter the ring! His popularity allows him to get away with these things, any other boxer would have been banned from fighting long ago!
Robert, Wales



Scotland does not require the money raised if it in any way lowers the moral standards of our society

Duncan, Scotland
When Tyson was allowed to fight in Manchester, we in Scotland proudly and perhaps smugly said that he would never have been allowed into Scotland - thinking that we were above allowing rapists in, justified by the colour of money. In my opinion, Scotland does not require the money raised if it in any way lowers the moral standards of our society. I assume that the youth of tomorrow are allowed to view rape as not really all that bad a crime? Rather than always being frightened to stand up for what we believe in, let's abondon political correctness for once and officially ban Tyson from entering Scotland. Let's do what England wish they had had the bottle to carry-out.
Duncan Glassey, Scotland

I don't see Mr Tyson's circumstances as exceptional in any way. He wasn't railroaded into a false conviction, and there is no evidence whatsoever that the charges against him were politically motivated. His trial was fair and the conviction was based on evidence and not coercion. Mr Tyson is nothing more than a thug and a rapist, and should not be allowed into the UK.
Charlene, Canada



He hasn't done anything wrong in the United Kingdom and I am pretty sure he doesn't hope to either

Adhiraj, USA
I think that Mike Tyson should be allowed to fight in Scotland because he has a lot of fans there, and if he doesn't come, they'll be dissapointed. Plus, the security can keep a close eye on Mike's action, after all, Mike Tyson has something called self-respect. He should be given a chance. He hasn't done anything wrong in the United Kingdom and I am pretty sure he doesn't hope to either.
Adhiraj Mallik, USA

Mike Tyson is the most pitiful excuse for a good sportsman in the world. He should not be allowed the privilege of playing in any "gentleman's sport". And, if he is allowed to fight in Scotland, - that is an open endorsement of the poorest kind of conduct by a professional athlete that I will have ever seen. We need to take these miserable kind of people and bar them from public sporting events.
Dave Adams, USA



Mike Tyson should have quit boxing when he got out of jail

Stephen, USA
Mike Tyson's personal life is deplorable. I don't understand why people have the nerve to be a fan of a rapist! Mike Tyson should have quit boxing after he got out of jail.
Stephen, USA

No, he should not be allowed to fight in Britain period. He is a very wicked person who has deep-seated problems.
Henry Spoor, USA

Britain would be within its laws not to allow Mike Tyson to re-enter. However, Britain did allow Mike Tyson, who has a conviction for rape, to enter. So a precedent has been set; the door has been opened.
Jeff, USA

I thought your headline was the most imaginative I have ever seen. No, Tyson should not be allowed into the country to fight. Why should he be any different from anyone else?
Deirdre Patricia McMenemy, Scotland



I think it is time to give the man a break and a little bit of respect

Osman, UK
If Mike Tyson wants to come to Scotland, I really do not see any problem. I think it is time to give the man a break and a little bit of respect. Leave the man alone and get on with his life. Mike did his time. There are many people here in the UK who have committed worse crimes than Mike. And they are still here.
Osman Gooje, UK

Yes, Tyson should fight anywhere in the United Kingdom. The home secretary allowed Tyson to fight in Manchester because so-called "small business" would be hurt if the match was to be cancelled. Mike Tyson, whether you like it or not, is a walking business enterprise which everyone (from Las Vegas to Glasgow) wants to milk for every dollar. The immigration law should be applied across the board or not enforced at all. If Mike is a convicted criminal then he should be treated as such, but for the UK chamber of commerce to invite him and then have the government pretend to hold their nose for the sake of local business is absolute garbage. Mike is good enough to make money off, but not good enough to set foot in the UK. Also the Home Office or which ever agency must study each case of a convicted person coming to the UK.
Dal, USA

The man's a convicted rapist. He has served a jail sentence of over a year. Immigration laws on this subject are clear. What "special circumstances" exist to let this great boxer (yet convicted criminal) into the UK?
Ray, USA



He is as much a liability as any other foreign convicted criminal, famous or not.

Laura, UK
Immigration laws are immigration laws. A boxing match, in my opinion, if certainly not an exceptional circumstance. Although I am sure Tyson poses no threat to anyone while in the boxing ring, he is just as much a liability as any other foreign convicted criminal, famous or not. Celebrity does not make a person above the law.
Laura, UK

I think Mike should go to Scotland.
Pauline, USA

Forget about the immigration laws now, and start to think about the rules in the boxing ring. The first were already breached when he fought in Manchester, or there are "exceptional circumstances". Can you give him a break please? He is human.
Katjee, Ovitoto

I see that some of the US contributions to this debate have stated that they think Mike Tyson should be allowed to fight in the UK. However, if a British sportsman with a rape conviction wanted to attend a sporting event in the US, I am sure our American friends would have something different to say about the situation then. The guy is bad news! I live in Glasgow, and I for one will not be attending this spectacle.
Alex, Scotland



It will be unfortunate if the Scottish Parliament does not take a stand on this.

Linda Semple, Scotland
It was wrong to have made an exception for Tyson when he was allowed to fight in Manchester - it should not be cited as a precedent because if those circumstances were 'exceptional' the same argument cannot be used for a fight arranged after that decision. It will be unfortunate if the Scottish Parliament does not take a stand on this considering its recent good performance over issues of violence against women.
Linda Semple, Scotland

Tyson is not coming into the UK as an immigrant but as a short term visitor. Britain is a fair society and gives a fresh start to all who have served their time in jail. That is why we have a Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, relating to employment opportunities. Whilst his convictions are for serious crimes we do let back into society those convicted of serious physical and sexual abuse of children. If we are not careful we are in danger of being hypocritical by being inconsistent.
JN, UK

Celebrity clearly does make a person above the law. If Mike Tyson were a third rate boxer, he would not even be allowed in the country as a convicted felon. What is perhaps worse is that Jack Straw, previously regarded by many as a man of integrity (even by those who strongly disagree with him), revealed himself to be a coward. Who is the worst criminal: the perpetrator, or the policeman who advocates the act? I strongly urge Scotland not to prostitute themselves in the same way.
Phil Saum, UK

Should Britain be allowed to fight in Sierra Leone?
Xavier Rayford, usa

Yes, we welcomed the Russian and Chinese leaders who have blood on their hands.
Andy, UK

Disgusting! How can we bend the rules for him when we cannot bend the rules for expats in Freetown? Easy! - Money. It's sad and is sending the wrong signals out to the rest of the world. If you want to come to Britain, don't fit the bill, but will make us lots of money, welcome. If you really have to come to Britain, fit the bill, but will not make us rich, push off!
ccr, Scottish expat in Turkey



People should realise that Tyson's conviction for rape is extremely dubious.

Ali Kazami, UK
People should realise that Tyson's conviction for rape is extremely dubious. It came about after the William Kennedy Smith trial, and the public feeling at the time was that celebrities get away with crime by virtue of their fame. Many respected commentators have cast doubt on Tyson's guilt, and readers should ask themselves why it is that Desiree Washington, who had already falsely accused two others of rape, went up to his hotel room alone after midnight.
Ali Kazimi, UK

No way! There are a lot of people who seem to regard Mr Tyson as a hero, but what has he done that is heroic - these people have a very stupid idea about heroism. He is basically a sad, stupid man who now believes he can do whatever he wants and still be adored by his even stupider fans. Let's just hope the government are sensible for once.
Carol, UK

Why is this even a question again? The guy is going to be in the UK for a few days, be under intense scrutiny all the time, have the fight and leave. He will not have an opportunity to carry out any crime in the UK and probably most importantly has served his time in prison for this offence. What about all the little grey men/women who commit crimes against children, girls who are then released into the community to reoffend with no supervision or tracking in place? These are the ones we should be scared of, but as they are not an infamous sports personality, they get no recognition. Let's have this kind of uproar when a convicted child molester is released from prison, have the news media follow this person around and report every move. If you think this is extreme, this is exactly what is happening to Mike Tyson.
James Jeffrey, USA, but English

I was against Tyson coming the first time and for him to be allowed to come again is sending the wrong message to impressional young children. I'm also disgusted that Celtic a team I have supported all my life are even considering bidding to stage the fight. There must be female supporters who are not happy about this. Instead they should be concentrating on getting a top coach for next season, and winning the league.
David Smith, Britain



One wonders what will happen to any Scots woman who annoys him in any bar he happens to wander into.

Donna Amberly, USA
Mike Tyson is being investigated for assaulting a Vegas stripper. While he is innocent of this offence until proven guilty, it is known that he's a rapist and an ear biter...not a nice person. One wonders what will happen to any Scots woman who annoys him in any bar he happens to wander into. But it's up to you folks.
Donna Amberly, USA

Perhaps we can hang him!
Graham, England

No he should not. He should be banned.
Andy, England

I feel that he should be allowed to fight as he is now a changed person from what he used to be. Let him live his life the way he wants, and get off his back.
Mary, London

If we let other convicted rapists in then we should let him in, if we don't then he shouldn't be allowed either. He has to be subject to the law like everyone else. I appreciate that he has served his time, but crimes against society - be it murder or rape - are not easily forgotten. Women I think find it particularly gauling that this brutal man is put on a pedestal by some men.
Wendy, UK



The man's career should be in ruins, yet greedy, money-grabbing public turn a blind eye.

JP, UK
I can't believe people are thinking money money money! The man's career should be in ruins, yet greedy, money-grabbing public turn a blind eye. He should never have been allowed to fight again after what happened with the rape and then the Holyfield fight. Mike is an unstable man.
JP, UK

I'm sure that those good people who run Hampden Park would love to make a lot of money out of hosting the Tyson fight but it is not exceptional circumstances that he fight there and therefore he should not be allowed entry. It was argued that businesses would have lost out were the Julius Francis fight cancelled at short notice. Not so here. It amazes me that he has fans who refuse to believe he raped and actually look up to him. Lewis should take him on with little fuss and end his career.
Simon Martin, England

Everything is down to business, so whatever we say in this discussion won't matter to business people, because sports is their livelihood and where they generate revenue so, why do we let him fight and see how it goes as we did the last time.
Asad A, London, UK

What is wrong with letting Mike Tyson fight in Scotland? He should be allowed to fight anywhere. People have their views, and there is nothing wrong with that, but when people try to force their views upon you. Mike was, and still is a great fighter, and I look forward to seeing his next match.
Martin Wheeler, England

There is no doubt that Tyson is a convicted rapist. However, the man has served his time. He should be allowed to fight in Scotland.
Edward Parham, Albany, NY, USA

What's the problem exactly? Does this threaten residents there? And what about internationals like Lee Bowyer? Give it up. Just let him fight it generates revenues.
Richard, Cayman Islands

Absolutely not. Our rules are very clear, he should not be allowed in as he is convicted of a crime for which the sentence is more than one year. To all those in America saying he should be allowed in, would you? You would certainly not.
CF, England

Mike Tyson shouldn't be allowed to fight anywhere until he demonstrates that he has "rehabilitated" himself and accepted responsibility for his own behaviour.
William McKenzie, USA



Boxing is bad enough as an example of institutional barbarism without encouraging people like Tyson to profit from activities in Scotland.

Patricia Mary Beveridge, Scotland
I think it is a complete contradiction of everything we have achieved over recent years in terms of justice if this man is allowed to take part in what is loosely described as a sport in Scotland. Boxing is bad enough as an example of institutional barbarism without encouraging people like Tyson to profit from activities in Scotland.
Patricia Mary Beveridge, Scotland


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12 Apr 00 | Scotland
Hampden weighs in for Tyson fight
11 Jan 00 | Sport
The life of Iron Mike
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