The idea of Mike Tyson as hope for anyone, black or white, is the saddest comment I've ever heard.
ELIZABETH FAIL, RICHBORO, PA.
You ask on your July 3 cover, "Should we root for Mike Tyson?" (Second Chance). Yes, after he admits what he did. After he asks Desiree Washington for forgiveness. After he offers to compensate her for any therapy she might want to help recover from this life-altering crime. After he speaks out against violence toward women. And after he gets help for his problem so that this never happens again. Then I'll root for Mike, but not a minute before.
JANICE APODACA, Seattle
Of course we should root for Mike Tyson. His achievements in the ring have made him a legend and an inspiration to many. Nothing should change that.
JUAN AYALA, Fort Worth
I find it bizarre that Tyson is criticized for spending money on a house and cars. Had he moved into a mobile home and gone to the gym in a taxi, would we then more quickly consider him a reformed citizen? He has that kind of money because he earned it—by being one of the best boxers of all time.
KATHY SCRUFARI, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
What a double standard we employ to allow athletes to continue their sport. Replace the athlete with a politician, a teacher or a policeman. Despite being more educated and arguably of more value to their communities, these people would be despised if found guilty of similar crimes. They certainly would not be cheered on.
KATIE MARTIN, Silverdale, Wash.
This man has expressed no remorse for his encounter with the young woman he was convicted of raping and has actually been quoted as saying, "I like to hurt women when I make love to them.... It gives me pleasure." And New York City gives him a hero's welcome? Mike Tyson is a disgrace to this country, and in this American's opinion, he is no hero.
SCOTT MCINNIS (R., Colo.)
House of Representatives
It's unfortunate that Tyson chose to jump right back into bed with the leeches and shameless hustlers who could not, or would not, save this man-child from himself. To those who see Tyson as a symbol of hope or as a hero, I say forget this pitiful street thug and instead check out David Robinson, Joe Carter or Evander Holyfield.
KENNETH B. DAVIS, Anaheim
Today's young sports fans need strong, positive role models more than ever. So in a week when the New Jersey Devils displayed talent, tenacity and strength by sweeping to their first Stanley Cup championship (Swept Away, July 3), you chose to feature a convicted rapist on the cover. I believe that Mike Tyson, like everyone else, should be given a second chance. However, it was in bad taste to put him on the cover in a week full of celebration and triumph.
STEPHEN VIRKLER, Towaco, N.J.
I was intrigued by your July 3 POINT AFTER regarding the price of tickets to the 1996 Olympic Games and the complexities of ordering the tickets. What a far cry from the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. I was 21 years old. Along with my brother, our nephew and a friend, I walked into the ticket office in Los Angeles a few days before the opening ceremonies. We told the clerk that we were four country bumpkins from Oregon, and we would like the best seats available for one day's events in each of three sports we had selected. These were track and field, wrestling and diving. Within a few minutes we were supplied with terrific tickets. Total cost: $16. The track and field tickets were $2 each, and wrestling and diving $1 each.
I hope this generation will enjoy its expensive seats as much as we did our cheap ones. Also, save your daily programs, no matter what they cost. Ours were 10 cents each. Memories, memories and the thrill of a lifetime.
HAL L. ROBERTS, Milwaukie, Ore.