Aboriginal Sin

By Robert Ecksel on October 20, 2012
Aboriginal Sin
"He is trying to promote a fight, but you have to think before making statements like that."

Racism is a mug’s game. No one chooses the color of their skin. What we do choose is how we use the English language…

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”—Mark Twain

Racism is a mug’s game. No one chooses the color of their skin. What we do choose is how we use language and our choice of words reveals our character, or lack of character, as the case may be.

There was a press conference in Hobart, Australia earlier today in advance of the rematch between IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale (28-1) and interim WBA junior middleweight champion Anthony Mundine (44-4).

Events of this sort are usually tightly controlled, and those who deviate from the script do so at their peril. Things may be looser Down Under than here in the States. That might partly explain Mundine’s remarks.

Referring to his opponent, Mundine said he thought “they wiped out all the Aborigines from Tasmania.” Instead of stopping while he was ahead, Mundine pointed out that Geale was married to a “white woman” and had “white kids,” adding, “I don’t see him representing black people, or colored people. I don’t see him out in the community doing what I do with people.”

One-upmanship is all well and good. Keeping one’s mouth shut in deference to good taste may be even better.

Mundine, like Geale, is of mixed race. Both men are of Aboriginal descent. But Mundine is from Australia, whereas Geale is from the island state south of the mainland.

Michael Mansell, Tasmanian state Aboriginal leader, was appalled at Mundine’s comments which he described as “ugly and racist, and an embarrassment to Aboriginal people everywhere.”

“Racist comments are no less racist because they are made by an Aboriginal against other Aboriginals,” Mansell told ABC TV. “His comments promoted the myth of the extinction of Aboriginal people and in doing so they promoted the idea that if there’s intermarriage between Aborigines and white people the offspring are not really Aboriginal and so therefore genocide is complete.”

Mundine clearly struck a nerve.

“In this day and age, that sort of notion is just rejected across the board in white Australia and in black Australia. His comments were hurtful to Aboriginal people, they were racist and they were grubby, and his comments about the color of the skin of his opponent’s wife and the child of his opponent were just unforgivable.

“That a high-profile Aboriginal would make such ignorant and ugly statements about Tasmanian Aboriginals is downright embarrassing.”

Geale kept a cooler head. He admitted that Mundine might have gone “too far. I know he is trying to promote a fight, but you have to think a little bit before making statements like that.”

Lionel Rose must be spinning in his grave.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. raxman 02:03pm, 10/21/2012

    irish - the thing about that mundine v ottke fight is this - that was mundines 1th fight - and he had a bout 4 amateur bouts as a kid - so in his 11th pro fight this loud mouth idiot who was until two years earlier playing professional rugby league - and one of the top earners in that game too i might add - flew to germany and fought an undefeated world champ who had over 300 amateur fights (3 olympic games) - say what you want about mundine he is an incredible athlete - he was winning that fight with two rounds to go when he got hit with a punch that like RJJ would prove his achilles heel - the old glass temple. but really he stayed down from pure exhaustion. mundine is a dick and he has the most padded record in pro boxing but he did beat geale and green and went the distance with kessler - had he boxed his whole life - gone thru the amateur programs here and never step on league field he could’ve been anything

  2. the thresher 02:57pm, 10/20/2012

    “Mundine has a history of assholiness, but he knows how to hype a fight”

    You know damn well what I meant. Stop with the provocations. I wouldn’t walk across the street to see Mundine fight, but that said, he has won some key bouts in his career. This is not the first time he has pulled the race card. But then, he joins Hopkins, Mayweather, Toney, Ali, etc etc and that was and is all hype.

  3. John 02:47pm, 10/20/2012

    Does Mundine know how to promote a fight ?

    There are many things that could get a fan like myself to buy a PayPerView or buy a live ticket. Competition between two top fighters, for one thing.

    A racist, washed up Mundine insulting someone is not going to get a dollar out of anyone I know.

    So, thresher, I assume you’re spending money to see this? Serious question.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 09:23am, 10/20/2012

    When you get KO’d not for the count of 10 but for 10 whole minutes by Ottke who had a KO% of about 10% you’d think Mundine would be just a tad more circumspect…go figure!

  5. the thresher 07:55am, 10/20/2012

    Mundine has a history of assholiness, but he knows how to hype a fight.

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