Mike Tyson = Not Welcome

Our campaign resulted in the cancellation of Mike Tyson’s planned VIP appearance at Portsmouth Guildhall. Mike Tyson’s notoriety is underpinned by his often-expressed contempt for women. To honour him as a VIP dishonours victims and survivors of violence everywhere.

Following his conviction in 1992 for raping an 18 year old woman, Mike Tyson’s attitudes and behaviour towards women have been called into question many times.

Robin Givens, Tyson’s former wife, told Barbara Walters in interview that, “He shakes, he pushes, he swings. . . . I’ve become afraid. Very, very afraid.”

In 2003, during an interview with Fox News, Tyson described the young woman he raped as “a lying, reptilian, monstrous, young lady”, adding “I just hate her guts. She put me in that state where, I don’t know, I really wish I did know. Now I really do want to rape her and her mama.”

In 2011, Tyson made a series of highly offensive remarks about Sarah Palin’s love life (this article features the audio clip – please note Trigger Warning).

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Fewer than 6% of rapists are convicted for their offence. Victims and survivors still struggle to be believed. We decided to launch an online petition calling on Portsmouth Guildhall to honour Portsmouth's White Ribbon City Award (recognising cities in the UK with an outstanding commitment to preventing violence against women and children) and cancel the event. Over 3000 signatures and just a few weeks later, Portsmouth Guildhall cancelled the event. Fareham Borough Council quickly followed suit. Aurora is currently working with AVA on a nationwide campaign to inform all UK venues of Mike Tyson's attitudes to women, with the aim of ensuring that his promoters get the message, loud and clear: Mike Tyson = Not Welcome.