Published 6:30 p.m. ET
Aug. 9, 2019
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson spoke to the Alabama football team on Thursday night, urging players to love themselves and manage their anger in a healthy way.
"It was all an illusion," Tyson told the team, via 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.'
"You gotta love yourself before you can love one another and your teammates. There was a time I didn't love myself."
Tyson was open about his own issues that derailed his career and livelihood. The 53-year-old served three years of a six-year federal jail sentence after being convicted of rape in 1992, and he returned to the ring in 1995.