Is Floyd Mayweather getting a pass on his ethnically insensitive comment because he’s black?
ESPN writer LZ Granderson thinks so, calling for a backlash or outrage against the boxer who made the comment against rival Manny Pacquiao, a Filipino boxer.
In the online video, Mayweather disses Pacquiao, with whom he has a much anticipated boxing match. He brags that once he beats Pacquiao, he’ll have him “make some sushi rolls and cook some rice” and then “cook him with some cats and dogs.”
As if it wasn’t bad enough, his follow-up apology, in two videos, one in which he appears with two Asian females by his side, wasn’t much better. Said Mayweather:
I do want to apologize for what happened the other night,” Mayweather said. “I want to apologize to everybody. They felt it was a racist comment that came from me. I don’t have a racist bone in my body, you know. I love everybody. Some of my guys are Muslims. Some of my guys are Jews. Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Mexicans, whites, it doesn’t matter. There is nothing but love in my heart, you know what I’m saying?
Mayweather has always been arrogant, and trash-talking rivals is common in boxing, but clearly the line between personal attacks and racially or ethnically insensitive comments has been crossed.
One of the things pointed out by Granderson, who’s black by the way, and who I commend for having the guts to do this, was that if a comment of a similar nature was made against a black person, the ‘race card’ would have been brought up and a media spectacle would be made about the issue. Granderson pointed to a similar comment made by Fuzzy Zoeller, who called Tiger Woods a ‘little boy’ and suggested he not serve fried chicken, after he won the Masters in 1997.
The fact that Mayweather’s comments are under the radar is a good indication that equality is not factoring into the scenario, and I often hear the complaint by many non-blacks, including a former professor of mine, that blacks can be racist, but others can’t. While I don’t believe this is necessarily true, it brings up an interesting observation about racial sensitivity, and whether it’s considered important when it comes from a non-white person, particular someone considered the victim, as blacks often are considered.