Floyd Mayweather Jr. is great at a lot of things. Issuing apologies or retracting poorly worded statements are obviously not two of those things.
A few weeks ago when Linsanity was arguably at its peak, Mayweather decided to rain on everyone’s parade and basically say that Jeremy Lin was being overhyped because he's Asian, Predictably, the undefeated No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world found himself as the focus point of a lot of scrutiny and vitriol shortly thereafter. Some chalked Mayweather’s comments up to him simply being ignorant; UFC Commissioner Dana White took it a step further and labeled Mayweather a racist.
One would expect that after getting such a hostile reaction to his Lin comments, Mayweather would shy away from talking about the Knicks superstar in the future. You know, why drum up negativity when there is no need for it, right? Wrong. During a press conference on Tuesday, here is what Mayweather had to say regarding his controversial basketball analysis:
“Do I regret what I said? Absolutely not,” Mayweather said at the Apollo Theater (via CBS Sports). “I stand by what I said, and I meant what I said.”
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“The media always take your words and screw ’em up,” Mayweather added. “They failed to say that I said the guy was a good player.”
Nobody actually failed to say that, of course, but it’s cute that Mayweather wants to believe he was misrepresented. Here is exactly what his initial tweet about Lin said:
“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.”
People got mad because Mayweather said that Lin got the hype he got because he’s Asian. Mayweather did say that Lin got the hype that he got because he’s Asian. Where is the disconnect here?
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Now whether or not Mayweather’s comments are racist is a whole different debate. It seems reasonable to conclude that they were ignorant or misguided, but it’s tough to derive anything racist about what he said. A lot of Lin’s hype did center around him being Asian, there is nothing untrue about that. Mayweather’s statement was only viewed as malicious because he tried to insinuate that the only reason Lin was hyped was because he was Asian.
Either way, in typical Floyd Mayweather Jr. fashion, Floyd Mayweather Jr. refuses to back off his controversial statements. Instead, he’s doubling down on them. Big surprise.