Have you ever heard of Sir Alfred Jules “A.J.” Ayer? I’m guessing you have not. A.J. Ayer was a badass.
Yes, A.J. Ayer was a well known atheist during his time. But no matter how devoutly religious you might be, and no matter your view on atheists, you’d be hard pressed to deny that Ayer was indeed a badass.
In 1987, at the spry young age of 77, Ayer’s stood up to the man who was literally the baddest man in boxing at the time: Mike Tyson.
Ayer stepped in and stopped Mike Tyson from sexually assaulting a young Naomi Campbell at a party.
“Do you know who the fuck I am? I’m the heavyweight champion of the world!” – Mike Tyson screamed at Ayer
Most people would have turned tail and ran for cover, asking someone else to intervene or call the police. Not Ayer. He stood his ground.
“And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both pre-eminent in our field; I suggest that we talk about this like rational men.” – A.J. Ayer told Tyson
The two talked it out while Naomi Campbell slipped out of the room to safety.
A.J. Ayer passed away after the encounter. But not from being pummeled by Mike Tyson. He passed away of a respiratory illness in 1989.
Ayer beat Tyson without throwing a punch and more importantly stood up for another human being in a situation where most wouldn’t have had the balls to do so.
The world needs more badass people like A.J. Ayer.