The real question to me is, given all the boxing matches with questionable results, let alone ones we know were clearly fixed, why is boxing even still in the Olympics?
“In 1982, Korean boxer Duk Koo Kim died after a lightweight title fight against Ray Mancini on Nov. 13. Kim slipped into a coma after the conclusion of the fight and was taken off life support four days later. Sports Illustrated’s cover on Nov. 22 featured a photo from the fight with the headline “Tragedy in the Ring.” Two months later, the American Medical Association called for boxing to be outlawed. In subsequent years, boxing’s popularity in America plummeted as it was relegated to pay-per-view events.
Similar concerns exist about football, as several former NFL players have committed suicide as a result of depression caused by CTE, a degenerative brain disease linked to football-related head trauma. At least seven high school football players have died of on-field injuries this season, too. Retro Report’s documentary examines the impact of health concerns surrounding football.”
Interestingly, this was a discussion I had with some folks while watching an ambulance come on to the field at the second straight Oregon State home game, whether it made sense to let your kids play football. I don’t have kids, so I don’t know what I would do, but it does get harder and harder to justify the more we learn about CTE and other long term effects of playing football.
Yet, it still remains incredibly popular, why? I think the one thing about boxing was that a lot of people actually watched that Mancini fight. It wasn’t some fuzzy video of a high school kid that few people saw, it was a brutal beating captured on video.
If we can, let’s compare it to domestic violence. The Ray Rice incident was bad, and then when we saw the video, suddenly public opinion was ten times worse. Eventually, we are going to be forced to watch someone almost die on national TV during a football game. Then, public opinion will start to move.
Cross posted from Child Abuse Survivor
I was listening to a recent BS Report, a podcast about sports on Grantland, in which Bill Simmons had Mike Tyson and Jalen Rose on, and got Mike talking about some of the issues and demons that he has had to deal with throughout his life.
It was an interesting interview all the way around, but the thing that really caught my attention was when Mike said that early in his career, after he had found some success and starting making money, and people kind of came out of the woodwork wanting to be his friend, and attach themselves to him, and his money, that he knew they were using him, but he wanted to be used.
Now, it is hard to imagine someone as physically strong as Mike Tyson wanting people to use him, but he began to explain, and mentioned Stockholm Syndrome, and how when you grow up with nothing, being bullied and abused, that you start to simply expect this is how people will treat you, and it’s what you deserve. As he was talking I could really see how this made sense. He never had anyone growing up, suddenly people wanted to be his friend. He never really had any friends, but wanted some, so if being used was the price for having friends, and as far as he knew at this point, that was the way it is, then he would accept that and let people use him and his money.
The more I let that sink in, the more it really made so much sense. How many survivors have I talked to who simply accept being used, or abused again, as adults? How many simply assume that is the trade-off to being in a relationship, or having some take care of them financially, or have a partner in raising a child, etc.? Does that not sound like Stockholm Syndrome, where kidnap victims being to identify with their captors, and minimize the very real damage being done to them as a hostage? It’s a false belief that the only way to get love, companionship, friendship, etc. is to trade yourself for it, to let people use you however they see fit.
The struggle, of course, is to embrace the reality that is your past, accept it, and also learn to see it for what it truly is. In other words, to learn that you are more than something to satisfy the needs of other people. It sounds like Tyson is finally getting that, and trying to do different things with his life and make healthy choices. I hope he can continue to do that, just as I always hope the same for all survivors.