Sometimes it seems as if Mike Tyson's redemption tour is complete, that he has done the emotional and spiritual reconstruction to the extent that his misdeeds are now seen as merely the missteps of a wayward youth…a time period which perhaps lasted a decade or two longer than the average tenure as a teen troublemaker. And then every now and again something happens to remind us that the introspective vegan who seems to have learned his lesson, and seen the spiritual light, was once the Baddest Man on the Planet, in more ways than one.
On Tuesday, word came out that New Zealand has denied Tyson, age 46, an entry visa. He was due to speak at a charitable event, but his 1992 conviction for rape made him ineligible to step foot on the island nation in the southwest pacific Ocean.
Tyson has a bond with New Zealand, quite literally, in that the facial tattoo he took on in 2003 is a Maori design. Polynesians settled in NZ hundreds of years ago, and had to contend with a colder, harsher climate than they'd been accustomed to. It has been awhile since Mr. Tyson, who had a triumphant run at the end of summer doing his one-man show on Broadway, has had to contend with ramifications from his dark past. Sometimes, of one's past, you can run, or hide, or embrace it, even..but sometimes, despite your best defense, or offense, it comes back to bite you.