Every year, University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban attempts to motivate his team to be all-around better players and individuals by bringing in guest speakers during the preseason camps. This time around he called on Mike Tyson who has endured triumphs and pitfalls in his career, making him a motivational speaker that can hopefully influence the young players to make healthier decisions for themselves as their careers progress.
Back in 1991, Tyson was arrested on charges of rape after an 18-year-old girl accused him of assaulting her. Seven months later, he was found guilty and sentenced to six years in jail. After serving three of those years, he was released. The public still wanted to see “Iron Mike” Tyson back in the ring, so his comeback was imminent. However, in a 1997 match against Evander Holyfield, Tyson once again was at the center of controversy after he bit a piece of Holyfield’s ear off during a fight.
Still, Tyson is hailed as one of the greatest fighters on the planet who is beloved by fans worldwide. “It was all an illusion,” Tyson told the Crimson Tide team according to ESPN. “I had no reason to show love to anybody. The more I hurt people, the more people loved me. The more I knocked guys out, the more I broke their ribs, broke their eye sockets, the more people loved me. So what was I to think? I hurt everybody. I hurt women. I hurt my friends. I hurt strangers. I had no concept of myself. I didn’t know who I was. I was this boxer who hurt people. I always had to be ‘Iron Mike’.” He added, “You gotta love yourself before you can love one another and your teammates. There was a time I didn’t love myself.”
“When I conquered everything I wanted to conquer, I wanted to conquer myself,” Tyson said. “I became a drug addict and lost all my money. Just more pain. I got in a situation where I was bankrupt. I lost $400 million. Can you imagine that s—?…In my prime, I think I could have beaten God, but I’ve moved on,” Tyson said. “That’s not who I am anymore. This is my prime now.”