In the past couple of Coffee Talk columns, I referred to Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s racist (and homophobic) rant against Manny Pacquiao. In addition to accusing Pacquiao of taking performance enhancing drugs, Mayweather railed on the Filipino boxer for eating dogs, eating cats, being yellow, being a midget, and being a “faggot”. Mayweather eloquently claimed that Pacquiao, “Can’t speak no English!” He also called for Pacquiao to make him rice and assorted Japanese foods (don’t ask me why).
For reasons that upset and perplex me, Mayweather isn’t getting heat for his comments. Is it because he’s African American and the American press is wary of accusing an African American of racism? Is it because Pacquiao is Filipino and (for ridiculous reasons) Asians/Pacific Islanders aren’t considered as much of a minority as African Americans and Latino Americans? I’m not really sure. Thankfully, ESPN’s LZ Granderson wrote a fantastic article on the matter. Here’s a lengthy excerpt:
Not long after [Dr. Laura] Schlessinger made her remarks, Rev. Al Sharpton could be seen ripping her to shreds on CNN and suggesting sponsors pull ads from her show. I’ve yet to hear a Sharpton comment regarding Mayweather. I’ve yet to hear him call for a boycott of any of his future fights or the sponsors tied to him.
The same goes for the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who didn’t have a problem inserting himself in the conversation this summer when Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert went off on LeBron James after the King moved his throne to Miami. Jackson implied Gilbert’s comments were laced with racist undertones. He even demanded a sit-down with the owner. I’ve yet to see Jackson insert himself into the Mayweather conversation or publicly request a similar meeting.
We know what Mayweather’s comments said about him, but what does the muted response say about Sharpton, Jackson and the rest us? That it’s different because it’s boxing?
But the day Tiger Woods won the Masters in 1997, Fuzzy Zoeller took a lot of heat and lost sponsors for calling a then-21-year-old Woods “little boy” and urging him not to serve fried chicken and collard greens the following year. Zoeller’s words are akin to Mayweather’s about Pacquiao, who is Filipino. Now do you still think it’s about boxing?
Mayweather’s comments are as troublesome as Schlessingers’, but he is being treated differently because he’s black.
Anyway, the whole thing has been bothering me for the last week or so and I wanted to get your thoughts on the matter. Why do you think Mayweather is getting a pass on this issue?