We already know he's an advocate for gay-bashed kids. But wrestling megastar Mick Foley contains even more multitudes: he's an activist on behalf of sexual assault victims — and a die-hard Tori Amos fan.
Slate has an adapted excerpt from an upcoming memoir in Foley, in which he describes how Amos's music, especially the song "Winter," helped him get through an act involving barbed wire:
There was only one problem: I was terrified. This is a normal human response to the very abnormal prospect of being dropped head first, neck first, and, yes, even balls first on jagged metal barbs. How exactly does a gentle, caring man (me) transform himself into a willing participant in such a barbaric spectacle? I needed to find some kind of inspiration in a hurry."
Foley has done some serious thinking on the nature of that inspiration.
Most listeners would interpret "Winter" as a song about a father's love for a child. But the question in the refrain always appealed to the scared part of me, the part that believed I wasn't strong enough, or big enough, or good enough. It never made me think of doing wild and dangerous deeds inside a wrestling ring. It helped me believe that I was strong enough to do the things I already knew needed to be done.
This is not mere self-help rhetoric. After he met Tori, he thought about donating half of his advance to RAINN, which she co-founded. But then he decided to just donate all of it. He donates his time too, as an online volunteer, working one-on-one anonymously, and was just named volunteer of the month.
This is despite the fact that "for many years, I had thought of the fight against sexual violence as one best waged by women and survivors of assault." He says Amos changed his mind. We hope Foley's fans are similarly moved. We need more men like him.
P.S. To refresh your memory, here's Foley jumping in on the Daily Show to kick the ass of anyone who bullied an awesome kid who stood up for gay rights.
<td style='padding:2px 1px 0px 5px;' colspan='2'Gaywatch - Peter Vadala & William Phillips
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Click to view|