New Zealand Bans Mike Tyson From New Zealand
New Zealand has made it perfectly clear that it wants nothing to do with former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, and to prove it the government has barred him from stepping foot on their soil.
Tyson requested and was ultimately granted a visa to make an appearance at a charity event in November sponsored by the Life Education Trust. However, that visa has since been revoked, as the sponsor of the event has decided that it “no longer wants any involvement” with the boxing legend/convicted rapist/recently-converted vegan, according to associate immigration minister Kate Wilkinson.
“Given that the Trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa to enter New Zealand for the Day of the Champions event,” said Wilkinson.
Despite opposition from Prime Minister John Key, Tyson was originally granted a visa based in part on a letter of support from the Trust. Yet, New Zealand law prohibits access (without special permission) into the country for anyone with a criminal history resulting in a sentence of five or more years.
In 1992, Tyson was sentenced to six years in an Indiana prison for the rape of an 18-year-old woman. Prime Minister Key says that he is unsure why Tyson was granted permission to enter the country in the first place and stresses that he would never allow a visa to be granted for a convicted rapist.
A representative from the Life Education Trust said the main reason they withdrew their invitation to Tyson is because of his rape conviction.