Playing with Karma

Karma is ‘imponderable’ according to Buddhist teachings. But that does not stop us from speculating. A specualtory exercise is to pick figures from history and guess about karmic forces in their lives:

Barak Obama got elected to the universal sigh of relief from the free world. It should have been a shoo-in but you never know when it comes to America.

Last month in Florida, one of the invitees at an international peace conference was one larger than life American who on closer inspection reflects somewhat of a creepy choice all things considered. The conference was organised by the Peres Center for Peace – an international non-profit organisation that promotes peace and reconciliation in the Middle East, and one of their star representatives showcasing the

unique ability of sports to transcend barriers in language, politics, religion, and gender and how sports have been used as a powerful peacemaking tool

was the electric Don King.

A few thoughts on this peace and reconciliation representitive:  He is a two time murderer. And he ripped hundreds of millions off practically every boxer to grace the heavyweight division since 1974. A lesser being would think that’s a risky group of people to defraud.

He makes an interesting case study for Karma, because despite his depression era Ghetto birth and gravity defying hair cuts, he has always been driven by some strange karma that has propelled him towards money.

[King] looks black, lives white and thinks green

… said Ali conqueror and hall of fame heavyweight boxer Larry Holmes.

King’s talent for swindling knows few bounds. Heavyweight champions all: Ali sued him for 1.2 million, Tim Witherspoon for nearly 1 million, Mike Tyson for 100 million and Lenox Lewis for 385 million. They had little success, Tyson finally settled for 14 million and the others even less. Lloyd’s of London also sued him, as did the IRS – this latter case was finally pinned on his hapless secretary who received a prison term for his tax evasion. King walked free. As he skipped down the court steps King gleefully uttered his catchphrase “Yippee, only in America“.

This American star speaker at the peace conference also murdered two men. When young he had sold peanuts with his mother, and put numbers in the bags as a kind of lottery. It caught on and by the time he was at college he was a numbers runner. Despite losing all his hard swindled money by losing a mob betting slip, he was not one to be daunted, and ditched high school for the more lucrative gambling game. In 1954, in one of his gambling houses, he shot a man in the back, killing him. Only in America indeed, he was freed 4 years later when the ‘justifiable homicide’ charge mysteriously got reduced to ‘non-negligent manslaughter’. 12 years later ex-heavyweight boxer King stomped a former employee Sam Garrett to death for owing him $600, but again walked away free. Sam Garrett was a ‘small and wiry’ man.

On the sports front, he managed to rig, control, and bribe all the main governing bodies of boxing to match up his fighters, making a number of them millionaires in the process. Yet

He did more bad to black fighters than any white promoter ever in the history of boxing,

said Mike Tyson on ESPN.

You can’t deny his genius for getting attention, or money.

He has the most brilliant business mind I have ever encountered,

said Seth Abraham, former president of HBO Sports.

Don King is formidable in his sleep.

What kind of karma is involved here? It has to be something wacked! King has reportedly been struck by lightning three times. Which could explain the hair. But could also point to some kind of Karma that has propelled him into the spotlight, and into money and conflict his whole life. Is this nature, nurture or karma ?