NOW members protested a Trenton, New Jersey hearing where Mike Tyson sought to renew his boxing license.
The New Jersey Athletic Control Board met to discuss Tyson’s boxing license after Nevada regulators revoked it after Tyson bit the ear of Evander Holyfield in a June 28, 1997 title bout in Las Vegas. Bear Atwood, president of New Jersey’s NOW chapter, said that Tyson’s 1992 conviction for raping a Rhode Island college student should be equally weighed when considering the boxer’s license application. “It goes back to the rape,” she said. “To give a boxing license to a convicted rapist would be an insult to every woman in our state.”
While most witnesses at the hearing discussed the ear-biting, several were asked to comment on the rape conviction. Former lightweight champion Bobby Czyz said, “I don’t think that particular crime has any relevance today... He did his time.” Atwood, wearing a sticker that read “Stop Honoring and Rewarding Violent Athletes” said the biting incident only shows Tyson has not changed. Commenting on the fact that Tyson lost his temper and started started swearing at the panel during the hearing, Atwood said, “He’s here to say, ‘I’m a reformed man’ and he can’t even make it through a hearing.”
“He has been a man out of control in his personal life and in his public life for a long time,” she added.