Floyd Mayweather Jr., is not Muhammad Ali.
That may come as a surprise to some, but to others, not so much. Ali, a champion of global human rights who was willing to sacrifice his boxing career for his principled stand against racism and injustice against African-Americans. When he died in June, he was celebrated for his consciousness and bravery.
On the other hand, Mayweather, who retired as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world last year after defeating Manny Pacquiao in “The Fight of the Century” pretty much feels that victims of police violence should have just done as they were told in order to stay alive.
At a Mayweather Promotions event, Mayweather, the one-time WBO middleweight champ, said he falls on the side of “All Lives Matter.” That notion is something everyone kind of already realizes, but the deaths of so many African-Americans at the hands of police is the reason people have taken to the streets to get the message across that “Black Lives Matter,” too, and are as valuable as any other. That’s also why there’s an organized movement by the same name.
But “Pretty Boy Money” seems to hold steadfast that all guys like Mike Brown, Amadou Diallo, Alton Sterling, Rahmarley Graham, Philando Castle and Tamir Rice (we’re bouncing around with dates here because we can’t keep count), had to do was “follow directions. There’s rules and regulations to everything,” he said.
He went further by throwing shade at San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest of the national anthem when played before games. “Stand up and get the starting job, that’s what he needs to focus on.” (Actually, Kaepernick was named starting QB for the Niners on Tuesday.)
Ironically, Ali will forever serve as a shining example of what happens when police don’t kill Black boys: He was taught to box by Louisville policeman Joe E. Martin, after the officer gave him an option to channel his anger over getting his bike stolen.
To that cop, a Black life mattered.