The Kiwis are saying no thank you to boxer Mike Tyson and the Aussies may not be far behind.
New Zealand has canceled Tyson’s visa because of his 1992 rape conviction, days after Prime Minister John Key spoke out against Tyson’s visit to the country, reports the AP. The decision was partly influenced by a charity that would have benefited from Tyson’s appearance wanting nothing to do with him, says Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson.
Tyson is scheduled for a speaking tour in New Zealand and Australia in November, but that may not be happening anymore, as Australia is also currently deciding whether to let him visit or not.
Max Markson, the promoter for Tyson’s events in New Zealand and Australia, is continuing to sell tickets and will refund the buyers’ money if Tyson cannot appear.
“He’ll only be in the country for 20 hours, I don’t think he’s a danger to anybody, and thousands of people want to see him,” says Markson.
In 1992, Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of raping an 18-year-old woman in a hotel room. He served three years before being granted parole.
It is the policy of both New Zealand and Australia to grant visas to visitors who have passed a character test. Those seeking visas who have a “substantial criminal record” are generally not admitted.