Gene Simmons of KISS has defended Mike Tyson over a viral video of Tyson repeatedly punching an airplane passenger said to have been harassing the boxing legend.
The video which emerged on 21 April shows Tyson repeatedly punching the passenger before showing blood dripping down the passenger’s head. Tyson’s representatives have since told TMZ that the “aggressive passenger” had begun harassing Tyson before the recording of the altercation started, and had even thrown a water bottle at him while Tyson was seated.
KISS frontman Gene Simmons thinks Tyson was justified, replying with an empathic, all-caps “AGREED!” to a tweet reporting that boxer and social media personality Jake Paul had said Tyson did nothing wrong, and that the beating was deserved.
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) April 22, 2022
Several other notable figures in rock have also chimed in on the viral video, with Ice-T of Bodycount writing on Twitter, “Mike Tyson punched somebody who was Fn with him. The problem is nowadays, MFs think they WON’T get punched in the Face.”
Rikki Rocket of Poison also shared his two cents, siding with Tyson as he commented, “While I don’t condone violence, I think our society has enabled people to mouth off, [harass] and get away with it thinking they can just make money off of a lawsuit if it turns physical.”
The passenger was reportedly uncooperative with police when they arrived on the scene, and was later revealed as Florida man Melvin George Townsend III, 36, who previously served 20 and 12 month sentences for a variety of crimes including grand theft and fraud.
Townsend’s attorney has told TMZ that Tyson should have showed restraint towards the “overly excited” Townsend, adding that Tyson’s position as one of the greatest boxers of all time laid that responsibility on him.
72-year old Simmons recently proclaimed KISS as “the hardest working band out there”, doubting even Beyonce, Bono and Bruno Mars could perform in the elaborate outfits the band don.
“We love Jagger and Bruno Mars and Bono and anybody else, they’re all great, but if you put those guys – Beyoncé, put Beyoncé in my outfit with seven-to-eight-inch platform heels, dragon boots that each weigh as much as a bowling ball,” Simmons explained to Entertainment Tonight.
“The entire outfit, studs, leather and armour is about 40 pounds.” he calculates. “The guitar and the studs are 12 pounds by themselves. Then, you got to spit fire, fly through the air and do that for two hours. They would pass out within a half-hour.”