Yesterday, David Haye got into a bit of hot water after it was reported that he'd compared his upcoming fight with Audley Harrison to "gang rape." Here is how Gareth A. Davies reported the quote from the Telegraph:
Haye may have overstepped the mark, nonetheless, with his remark that his fight with Audley Harrison, announced on Tuesday, would be "as one-sided as a gang-rape".
The reaction was, as Michael Marley put it, "as immediate as it was predictable."
Haye has said plenty of outrageous! things before, including promising to beat Jean Marc Mormeck "like Rodney King." Most of the time it's just sort of crass or crude, but not really much of a big ordeal. His t-shirt depicting him holding the severed heads of the Klitschko brothers was defiant and angered some (including the Klitschkos), but it's hardly as if anyone expected him to actually cut their heads off. Hell, at this point, nobody actually expects him to box either of them after he's backed out of fights with both brothers, so the t-shirt, in retrospect, is a joke on Haye at this point.
But as much as I agree that surely David Haye does not actually find rape to be a laughing matter, and as harmless as the comment really was at the end of the day, it just has to occur to someone of Haye's stature that saying it at all is stupid. It's stupid because you're going to get this reaction, and for people who think there's no such thing as bad press, I can't agree there. Haye has garnered almost nothing but bad press since moving up to the heavyweight division. The press he's received has painted him as a loud-mouthed paper "champion" doing all he can to avoid the fights people actually want to see.
And Haye says he won't apologize. On his Twitter page, Haye said, "If I apologised for every stupid/ignorant thing i said, I wouldn't have time for anything else during the day!"
On the surface, it's another minor knee-slapper from a guy who is actually pretty damn funny. But his obsession with his -- in his words -- "classic tasteless" comments is, well, stupid. Why force yourself to say "stupid/ignorant" things at all? Why not avoid it instead of putting yet another log on the fire? It's not as if he's actually dumb and doesn't know what he's doing, so really he's just being phony.
But in the interest of fairness, and because I can see two sides to this, I have to admit a couple of things that aren't anti-Haye right now.
- This is not even close to the idiocy that drooled out of Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s mouth last week, and at least he isn't going to continue being fake with an apology he doesn't mean or understand.
- If we were talking about a stand-up comedian, would this even matter?
Haye's comment was in poor taste for sure. But was it evil or truly malicious? I can't see it that way. Do I think he should apologize? Probably not, unless he really felt bad or wanted to apologize. What's the point of getting another phony apology out of another public figure whom we all know won't mean it? These angered "groups" can probably just decide that they think David Haye is a prick and move on. Do they really need to be placated by a bogus apology?
David Haye's a boxer. He's not someone I'd look to as a bastion of good taste. What he said was dumb, and frankly just pointless, and it was either designed to elicit this very reaction or he's a bad person. So most likely Haye was just trolling here, since I don't think he's a rotten human being or the like. It's annoying, but why give him what he must desire most, which is further attention given, which gives him more opportunity to promote the newest crummy fight he and his team have signed?
Of course, I just spent time talking about it, so I'll just end this by saying his fight with Audley Harrison still sucks and we're all still waiting for him to fight the Klitschkos, as he's been promising for two years.