The new channel Fox Sports 1 has their work cut out for them if they want to compete with ESPN. No, not ratings, this pertains more to etiquette and the ethics, or lack there of, in the media.
The new series, “Being: Mike Tyson” will air this Tuesday at 10:30 pm on Fox Sports. The cameras have been following Tyson and will offer insight to a troubled man who was once the king of boxing. Tyson, 47, was on top of the world at the age of 20. He was the undisputed heavyweight champion. Think about that. What were you doing at 20? He was knocking out the biggest and the best.
Now Fox Sports is essentially exploiting him, but that’s not how they put it. It is billed as an all access show to the ‘knockout kid,’ a way to keep this boxing icon in the public sphere and maybe help him out financially.
This is where Fox Sports morals are called into question.
During one of the first public appearances on behalf of his ‘Iron Mike’ boxing promotion, Tyson started revealing startling facts about his personal life. For those who have not seen the press conference, here it is.
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The most jarring aspect is the way in which Tyson comes to divulge the information about his personal demons. He candidly states that he “is a vicious alcoholic” who is “on the verge of dying.”
While opening up he says, “wow,” before pausing. “God, this is some interesting stuff.” It was almost as if he discovered these truths at the same time that he was revealing them.
“I haven’t drank or taken drugs in six days,” Tyson said. “And for me that’s a miracle.”
This is a guy who had a one-man show on Broadway just last year. He had been pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes, including his own. He was looking for ways to get by and lying to himself and the public in order to do it.
Tyson refers to his own mind as a bad neighborhood that he doesn’t like hanging out in. The press conference where Tyson came clean was on Aug. 23 2013. His series “Being: Mike Tyson” premieres on Sept. 24 2013. One month after Tyson’s revelations about his addiction came out, Fox will be projecting his struggle or façade, it depends on when they began filming.
Regardless it is sickening to see a contemporary sports figure, maybe the greatest boxer of all-time being followed and filmed while he is clearly in the depths of despair.
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His identity is fractured, often jumping from one mood to another, but his overall tone is just the same. Mike Tyson needs help. He is a man who came from hardship and endured many self-inflicted wounds throughout his career but is now looking to make amends and find peace in his life. Fox Sports 1 is only looking for ratings.
While Tyson may not be the greatest role model to kids, we should strive to be a society that helps pick people up as oppose to watching them crumble.
Perhaps both parties sought out this series, but one thing is clear: they both need help.