Tonight’s controversial visit to Barnsley by Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist, is to go ahead.
An Evening with Mike Tyson at the Metrodome — part of a UK tour — will not be halted despite protests from anti-rape campaigners who produced a 1,000-name petition.
From the time the event was announced Barnsley Rape Crisis centre opposed the evening and said it was “Offensive and wholly inappropriate.”
At the height of his boxing powers Tyson commanded £20 million a fight but ended up squandering his vast fortune.
He was convicted of rape in 1992 and served three years of his six-year sentence. In 1997 he returned to the ring but was involved in an infamous ear-biting incident with Evander Holyfield.
Lynne Casserly, from Barnsley Rape Crisis, urge organisers to cancel the event and underlined the fact that Tyson has showed no remorse for the rape.
She said: “If someone is saying, ‘I got something wrong, I made huge mistakes’ we may well be looking at a different stance.However he hasn’t said that.
“Why is that acceptable because someone has been a good boxer?One in four people either suffer domestic or sexual domestic abuse in Barnsley and across the country. Inviting him was a huge mistake.”
Barnsley Premier Leisure, which manages the venue on behalf of Barnsley Council, has said in an earlier statement that the venue was hired out to a promoter.
They added:”BPL accepted the event due to Mike Tyson being one the most successful sports stars within history.
BPL have no intention of causing offence or disrespect to any groups or individuals.”