As the gun control debate rages, former boxing champion and perpetual chaos machine Mike Tyson has a unique solution for combating gun violence: Performance art.
Tyson tells a particularly perplexed interviewer from Esquire that an armed gunman would not be able to deter the champ from performing his new one-man show. At this point, nothing should come as a surprise from the fighter who once told an opponent he would like to “eat his children.”
TYSON: We got bomb threats when we did the show in New York. And then somebody tweeted and said they were gonna do to us like they did in Colorado. Just come in during my show and kill everyone.
ESQUIRE : That’s scary.
T: You know what I was taught as a young kid? In order to succeed greatly, you have to be prepared to fail greatly. If you can’t do both of them, you’ve got a problem.
E: Yeah, but there’s a difference between failing greatly and having a guy come into a theater with a semi-automatic rifle.
T: No it’s not. No it’s not. Not in the world of art it’s not.
E: I’m pretty sure you’re wrong.
T: You stand your ground and you perform your art. That’s what the artist does. The artist is about perfection. You’re going to let this break your concentration?
E: Gunfire? Yes, actually, I am.
T: Well that’s when we see what kind of a professional you truly are.
Now who can argue with that?
For more Tyson Philosophy, including his take on tigers as pets, his advocacy of veganism and his battles with “the fictional Mike Tyson,” check out the rest of the fascinating Esquire interview.