Mike Tyson is never one to shy away from a scrap, verbally and physically. After all we like the former heavyweight champ whose life isn’t as ordinary as ours. Mike was in the headlines at start of this week for a physical altercation with a fan onboard an airline from San Francisco to Florida. This incident made me at want to focus on the sportsman and fan relations. Now it is granted that fans can get a little excited when they see their idol or a celeb they like. That is why they hire security to go with them wherever they go. Mike clearly is his own security as the fan will attest now. Today I want to talk about this incident on whether Mike was at fault or the fan went overboard. I will put it into context of fan and sportsman/celeb relations. Let me start with the fan. According to witnesses aboard, the interaction started off cordial enough with both seemingly being friendly with each other. Watching the video, Mike tries to calm the fan down ahead of the scuffle but the fan continued to harass him. Which brings me to rule number one for fans when they meet their heroes. Accept that he or she might not feel the same enthusiasm as you do about the encounter. We forget that they are humans too, they may have been having a bad day or just not in the mood or frame of mind to sign an autograph , chit chat or an impromptu photoshoot. When they clearly say this, say thanks and walk away. It doesn’t mean the sportsman is a bad guy , it just means you are invading his personal space.
Now Mike’s conduct deserve the reprimand it is going to get from the law. He could easily have been the bigger guy here and ignored the fan and asked for the airline to eject(if the incident had occurred before takeoff), or had the man arrested on landing. He is a trained boxer so could well have endangered the untrained fan’s health in a bad way. He fell for the fan’s trick in my opinion. The celeb shake down trick. Get hit then sue for thousands if not millions. Without doubt he put himself in a difficult spot legally and opened himself up to a suit. From reports for now the fan isn’t biting legally but still he is on the chopping block. Look, every sportsman’s worst nightmare is to have a fan in the mold of Robert De Niro in the movie “THE FAN”. Some fans like De Niro’s character in the movie manifest deeper emotional and psychological scars by their actions towards their heroes. They want acceptance and acknowledgement. What better way to get it than from a person admired by millions around the world. So the fan definitely needs help, psychological that is. Oh and Mike does too. Anger Management has never been his strongest point lets face it. To finish , the fan is said to have a prior criminal history which doesn’t augur well for him at all. Chances of Mike opening a counter suit are high in the event he does sue him. So it could well be a split draw(at least in my opinion and that of experts) excuse the pun.