By Rich Mancuso
Okay, have we not heard the racial insinuations from Floyd Mayweather Jr. before? He has attacked Manny Pacquiao about his Filipino decent, and now goes to another orbit and set a barn fire with remarks about a new face in the NBA, New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin.
Lin, an Asian with Chinese heritage, is that unheralded athlete in sports who comes along once in a while. He is right there now and got the opening to be in the spotlight, stepping in as two of the Knicks biggest stars went down. But Mayweather, as always, seized the moment and is in hot water.
Said Mayweather, about Lin on his Twitter account,” Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.” Oh yeah Floyd. They do get the praise. Every time Kobe Bryant drives to the lane, makes another three-point play beyond the arc. You hear about Kobe, read about him, and he gets the praise when scoring 50 points a game more than once.
And it is not only Kobe. It is the National Basketball Association, a league that has the largest percentage of African Americans playing the game. And they all get their due and respect from the media, except Floyd Mayweather who has more important issues to confront, uses social media again and makes himself a subject of controversy. There are these great stories in sports and Mayweather should know. He professes to be the best pound-for-pound – fighter, has the undefeated record, but makes his yearly appearance in the ring as will see again May 5th in Las Vegas, defending the WBC welterweight title against Miguel Cotto.
Mayweather has never been the unheralded fighter or athlete. That is more reason why he should keep his mouth shut, and stay away from social media unless he has something positive to state. However, this is another way now for the future Boxing Hall of Famer to generate publicity. He rarely grants a one-on-one interview and technology enables Mayweather to be his own spokesperson.
But the comments of hate, bias, and racial slurs do not present a better image for Floyd Mayweather Jr. Added to the fact that Mayweather has been the enemy in his on and off fight with Pacquiao, and this latest racial slur does not help his image. However, that is not the entire part of the story. Sports and not race is the story here.
You don’t have to be a fan of boxing or bsasketball to understand the implications of another ignorant statement coming from Floyd Mayweather. And there are those coming to his defense, with claims again, that the Twitter account is not one used by the welterweight champion. Yet, records say otherwise and indeed Mayweather is now in another predicament.
The unfortunate thing is, we are writing about insidious statements instead of reporting how Floyd Mayweather Jr. continues to make an impact on the sport of boxing and continuing his legacy.
The NBA, with a reputed commissioner, David Stern, has not issued a statement. An official in the league media relations department said a statement is not forthcoming and the Knicks have not issued a statement from Lin. A beat writer for the team when reached for a comment said, that Lin was being advised to remain silent.
Mayweather, in the meantime went on to say, “It’s Ok for ESPN to give an opinion but I say something and everyone questions Floyd Mayweather. I’m speaking my mind on behalf of other NBA players. They are programmed to be politically correct and will be penalized if they speak up. As soon as I support Black American athletes I get criticized.”
No Floyd, when you speak about another athlete in a derogatory manner, well you will be attacked. And you are not ESPN. The network has writers and on air talent to offer opinion. Again social media is the culprit here, and Mayweather, apparently has plenty of free time on his hands instead of focusing on his upcoming fight with Cotto.
The success story of Lin, an undrafted player out of Harvard University should be the story here. He has propelled the Knicks to five consecutive wins and has become an inspiration to the theory of never give up the dream of getting to the top. You see when we write about boxing it is supposed to center on the positive. But when Floyd Mayweather uses social media as a forum, as determined from his history, it always provides the negative. And nobody can stop him. He is a loose canyon.
Even the WBC, owner of the title that Mayweather holds can’t stop Mayweather. Because the promoters, one being Mayweather, advisors, and managers are not a national ruling body. In other words, a national commissioner may be able to intervene but boxing will never have that type of figure.
It is what makes boxing so different from the other sports, an issue of one of the most recognizable names having no self control to his feelings or actions. And nobody can stop him, because the name of Floyd Maywether Jr. means revenue to the sanctioning organizations, promoters, and most of all HBO and their pay-per-view entities.
When will it stop? The tweets, insults, racial slurs, and defamation of character have gone too far. As long as Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains a media figure and major face of the sport there will be no end. Because in the end, we all respect what Floyd Mayweather does in the ring and could care less about his actions when he goes outside his element.