His management figured they could cash in on the "Great White Hope" thing, especially after the Rocky film, so they kept dying his brown hair blonde, and tried to make no mention that Morrison's mother, Diana Morrison, is a full-blooded First Nations woman, Otoe and Ponca.
Sports Illustrated covered it in the early 90s at the height of Morrison's popularity, but it goes to show that many people just don't read.
"...gets annoyed when she hears Tommy called the Great White Hope (Tim Morrison, whom she divorced in 1980, is white). "Why don't they call him the Great Native American Hope?" she asks, more mocking than serious. "Or at least half a Great White Hope. It's all so silly."
When he fought Joe Hipp in a terrific gruelling, bone-breaking fight, some fans knew they were watching a couple of First Nations guys in there. Others thought it was a White Hope vs a Native American.
ESPN has a recent story up with an interview with Diana Morrison. Aug 23, 2013.
Merrill: Tommy Morrison's latest big fight - ESPN
"In a house on the edge of a dead-end road, an old woman waits for her son to die. The call will come any day now, she says, and when it does, she wants her youngest boy to be buried in Sulphur Springs, Ark., with the rest of the family. She dreads and hopes for this call, if that makes any sense. Only none of it makes sense.
Diana Morrison crushes a Pall Mall, lights another and dissects her son's fate. She's matter-of-fact about it, barely emotional, perhaps because Tommy Morrison, former World Boxing Organization champion, former HIV cautionary tale, has stared at death before. But this time it's different.
She says he has full-blown AIDS. She believes he's in his final days. His skin is jaundiced; his liver is failing. "He's too far gone," she says, flashing an incredulous look when asked whether he could recover. "He's in the end stages. That's it." She says Morrison has been bedridden for a year, can't speak and is being kept alive with the help of a feeding tube and a ventilator.
"I talk to him on the phone," she says. "I tell him that the family loves him, he's always in our prayers. What can you say to him? I don't tell him to keep fighting or nothing, because I want him to go."
She is interrupted by her ex-husband, who's living with her now because he's had a couple of strokes. Tim Morrison wraps his arms around Diana, and she tells him to go lie down, but he keeps pacing around the house with a blank look on his face."
Why are you.?
Do you really think if he went with the first nation thing he would have been in rocky 5 or made all these millions?
Tommy and his management knew what he was doing and tommy mentioned many times his family tree with John wayne aka the duke (real or not?!) so he knew what he was doing.
I have a great Morrison story that I'll save for a while but I will say that I was able to meet the man personally and it's a bit of a shock to see he's passed in what seems such a short time. He was a great guy and my guess is a character to the end. RIP. Seriously, sad story.
Sad news my thoughts go out to his family.... @CountryBoy told me he was his cousin a few years back and I always used to wonder if he was really Tommy himself.
Last edited by Saddo; 09-04-2013 at 01:13 PM.
So, after all the bull it was the aids that got him? I just dont see the need for the lies and constant denial. Ah well, he was a fun fighter and a surprisingly deep resume. Shame it was curtailed so soon.
Morrison was a white guy (just like Obama is a black guy), but I don't like this "Great White Hope" crap either. Why make it about race? People got behind Tyson in a big way and he was a black guy from the ghetto. People don't get behind the Klitschko's, and they are big, white and well educated - they just happen to be from Europe.
I think if you have the "goods", you put on exciting fights and you knock people out, people will get behind you. Morrison definitely had the "goods".
Officially the only saddo who has had a girlfriend
I just don't like the implications that being white somehow gets you a free pass in fight sports, or that people will get behind you just because you're white. It detracts from the accomplishments of the white boxer, and it also implies a racial bigotry among fight fans. And I don't believe it's true. Floyd makes more money than anyone in the history of boxing. Who were the biggest earners of the last few decades? Ray Leonard, Tyson, De La Hoya (Latino), Mayweather... I think in the end people just want to see exciting fighters. Morrison was exciting and he was REALLY GOOD.
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