Today’s Isms Become Tomorrow’s Wasms
Racism, like any other ism, will eventually disappear, assuming we don’t destroy each other and the planet first.…
Slavery is the scab that never heals. One hundred and fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation, we have a race problem that will not quit. Despite what you may have heard, all men are not created equal. Having a black president is a step forward, but it has reanimated the old prejudices. Racism is grotesque. It is also omnipresent. But it’s a two-way street. There are white racists, just as there are black racists. For every armed and dangerous wannabe like George Zimmerman, there’s an African American who is just as paranoid as the alleged killer of Trayvon Martin.
These unpleasant thoughts surfaced after reading a seemingly harmless article on BoxingInsider titled, “Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, Jr.: 1,300 Pushups and No Lessons from the Joint.”
The author opened his article with these words: “Floyd Mayweather, Jr. continues to be one of the most polarizing figures in boxing and he relishes that role with gusto. He and his team consider him the ‘face’ of boxing which – depending on the day and the line of sight – isn’t always a good thing, especially lately. For as professionally talented as Mayweather is, he is equally flawed on a personal level. The man is a walking contradiction; one minute he is burning hundred dollar bills and the next he is feeding the poor and providing for the ‘less fortunate.’”
I wouldn’t have used the loaded “line of sight” or put the words “less fortunate” in quotes, but that’s me and I’m careful what I write. Floyd is, as the author points out, a “polarizing” figure. He is also “professionally talented” and “flawed on a personal level,” just like the rest of us.
The author quoted Money May from a recent interview where he spoke about his incarceration.
“Look,” said Floyd, “you can never learn nothing from losing your freedom. You appreciate the smaller things in life. Just seeing trees and walking outside, you appreciate things like that after losing your freedom. I was doing 1,300 pushups a day. I’m locked up 23 hours a day. I get to come out one hour and on weekends…It was rough.”
Anyone who has ever been behind bars knows what a bummer it is. It’s not just the monotonous curtailing of one’s freedom that’s a drag. It’s also the drudgery of having to listen to jailers who, by some twisted quirk of fate, are higher on the food chain, for however long the incarceration lasts.
“Of course I’m more mature,” Floyd continued, “more older. I don’t have to sit around and badmouth my opponents or talk bad about anybody. I know what I bring to the table, and when it’s lights, camera, action—then I give you entertainment.”
Mayweather has done his fair share of badmouthing over the years. The Pacquiao defamation lawsuit is one example. And Floyd, despite being the finest pure boxer alive, has not always been the most entertaining fighter. It’s not his fault that he’s head and shoulders above the competition, but let’s get real.
Speaking about 50 Cent, his estranged “best friend” and former business partner, Mayweather stated, “Like I’ve said before, I wish him nothing but the best. My main focus is Mayweather Promotions and the ‘Money Team’. The main thing I’ve got to do is just focus on me and focus on what I’ve got to do. I’ve been at the top before I met 50 and I’m going to continue to be at the top.”
The author crossed the line when he decided to close with a gratuitous swipe at Money May.
“His inner circle is fractured due to the loss of Jackson, and his claim of maturity does not seem to have included much humility for the ‘face of boxing.’ The most believable thing about Mayweather, Jr.‘s claims from his loss of freedom experience is that he is able to do 1,300 pushups a day.”
Ho-hum and la dee da. It’s not the worst thing he could have written, but give me a bang before a whimper any day.
Of more interest than the above words are the words that follow. They are comments that, in and of themselves, reveal more about the writers than the author and what he wrote.
“Why do you racist writers & media stay trying to assassinate this mans character?” wrote Koreé GollDee McCoy-Boyd. “We don’t ever see you giving anybody esle in boxing negative press, but him?”
McCoy-Boyd isn’t looking hard enough. Nor is he using spell-check. Bernard Hopkins has received more than his fair share of negative press, but maybe it’s because he’s black and not because he overstayed his welcome. Then there’s the Klitschkos. They too have been drawn and quartered, especially Wladimir, by some members of the press. And while I can’t swear to it, the last I looked the Klitschkos are white.
Daryl Preston, an astute commenter out of Seattle, Washington, is a man of few words, but his words were as exemplary as they were to the point. “What kind of silly ass article was this?” he asked.
Octavius Jomar Chatman from Atlanta started off of sound mind, before allowing his chauvinism to get the better of him.
“At the end of the day,” Chatman wrote, “it is his money. If he is giving it to the poor; GREAT; that’s his right. If he wants to burn it or make it rain in a club; that’s his prerogative too. Why are we hating???” That was a graceful moment full of accuracy, followed by a moment with a less of both. “Manny’s team stomps out a photographer for taking pics of him flat on his face; but there is no smart remarks for that towards him and his choice of people he is involved with; but you sit here with your double standards and trash Floyd; SMDH!!!!?”
Manny got plenty of negative press, from white and black writers alike. In my opinion, the lambasting he received was way overblown in light of the injuries the photographer suffered, which were exactly none.
Armando Santana commented on the article. “He is too much SHOW! Fight CANELO already!!!” That’s a fine idea. Santana should bring it up with Golden Boy, if they’ll take his call. Money May will fight Big Red one of these days, but it won’t be one of these days soon, and it won’t be because he’s the one that is stalling.
No one will ever mistake TheWalking Rob for Shakespeare, but he wasn’t about to let that deter him.
“Undefeated sowant mean shit when you hand pick opponents,” TheWalking Rob wrote. “When a boxer challenges you and you take them on and beat them, then Ill be impressed. He waited for Mosley to be almost 40, 8 yrs after he challenged him. He outweighed Marquez by at least 15 lbs and then talks about he wants pacman tested so its fair. He is pure ghetto and I myself would love a crack at him for FREE!”
We should run that proposition by Armando Santana. If Floyd doesn’t “fight CANELO already!!!” would it be okay of he fought TheWalking Rob for FREE???
The comments go on, as comments tend to do. The reactions to the article, which wasn’t much to get worked up about in the first place, were the usual tempest in a teapot.
The snide opining at the end did less to degrade Mayweather than degrade the author. Perhaps he, like many others, is jealous of Floyd’s success. He might even be jealous that Mayweather is black.
Before people blow their tops or burst a blood vessel or whatever it is that people do when they’re upset, remember that racism, like any other ism, will eventually disappear, assuming we don’t destroy each other and the planet first.