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28 Jun, 2019 15:14

‘Polish guys didn't have sh*t happen to them compared to black people’ – Mike Tyson

‘Polish guys didn't have sh*t happen to them compared to black people’ – Mike Tyson

Boxing legend Mike Tyson has caused controversy during a promotional tour in Poland by saying that Poles “didn't have sh*t happen” to them compared to the history of discrimination against black people in the US.

The 52-year-old former world heavyweight champion arrived in Warsaw as part of an advertising tour for ‘Black Energy’ drink, which he has promoted for several years.

READ MORE: 'I thought about killing people': Mike Tyson admits troubled upbringing could have led to murder

Plans were announced, by the company that makes the drink, for Tyson to visit historical sites dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 and the Holocaust, something which the American boxing icon has spoken about in promotion materials in the past.

Responding to criticism by Polish activists that the company was cynically using World War II-era suffering for publicity, Tyson hit back by comparing Polish tragedies with those of black Americans.

Your Polish guys didn't have sh*t happen to you compared to what happened to black people in America,” Tyson, 52, said in part of an interview published by TVP.

No one imprisoned you for 250 f*cking years. And raped your mother, and your sister, and your brother in front of your eyes before they killed them... What happened to y'all was really bad... but nobody in the world's been persecuted more than black people.”

Nazi-occupied Poland suffered during the Holocaust, with the Auschwitz concentration camp the site of immense suffering and the estimated deaths of more than 1 million people.

There were two major uprisings against the Nazi army in Poland, in 1943 and 1944, aimed at liberating Warsaw from German occupation.