By William Trillo & Charles Presnell
Forward: Quite frankly I was going to let the latest “Pretty Boy” comments go by without saying a thing. Personally I have had it with his verbal lunacy and hate to give him the time of day. I had a couple of idea’s that included artwork, Floyd Is In An Ass Wipe, etc. But I just couldn’t do it. Then I received this email from one of our contributors, Charles Presnell, and I thought I would run this finely crafted piece for both Mayweather haters and lovers alike. Take it away Charles…
So tonight I logged onto the internet where my front-page had a feature article regarding Floyd Mayweather’s comments on Jeremy Lin. Rarely these days does a statement by a boxer, even Floyd Mayweather, make to the front-page of the website I choose to open up to first so I decided to read the article. It makes it especially dicey when the headline reads, “Boxing Star Rips on NBA Phenom.” Upon opening up the article I read the Tweet from Money stating, “”Jeremy Lin is a good player, but all the hype is because he is Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.” After reading the Tweet, I did not feel like Mayweather was “ripping” on Jeremy Lin. I sat there and examined the comment a little and broke it down a little and drew my conclusions on what exactly he was saying.
The premise of the statement could have very well came from several other media outlets, including ESPN, bringing up the subject of Jeremy Lin’s race. These outlets have been discussing Lin’s race on several different mediums, especially since he scored his forty points against the Lakers. Several commentators have mentioned the fact that Lin is exciting the Asian American Community and bringing focus to the NBA from people who normally would not pay attention. So I can understand Floyd Mayweather, a sports celebrity coming out and voicing his opinion. Several people in sports are doing the same.
Upon examination of the Tweet, the first part of the statement I found no racially insensitive material. Saying that “Jeremy Lin is a good player, but all the hype is because he is Asian,” in reality is the partial truth. There is a big demand to see him play because he is Asian American. I understand that as an Asian American myself I am a fan of Jeremy Lin partially because he is Asian American. Nonetheless, I would not say all the hype is because he is Asian American because they would be hyping any player that goes out against one greatest of all time (Kobe Bryant) and outscores him. Especially since this is just Lin’s second year in the league. That is why I say the statement is partially true, nevertheless, it is not something that is not being said.
To add to that thought, several media outlets reported that Victor Cruz has become a superstar in the Latino world because of his success this year and the success of the Giants. Cruz is bringing a new fanbase to the NFL from the Latino culture was the focus there. Add to that the big story in the NFL was Tim Tebow’s rise to stardom based on his faith. Christians that might not pay as much attention to football were tuning into see if Tebow’s streak was still intact or if Tebow would guide the Broncos to the playoffs. My basic point here is that the media will run with something and try to have it appeal to a certain base of people. Right now the sports media is running with Jeremy Lin firing up the Asian American community. Nonetheless, there really is not any harm in bringing a positive light to the NBA and at the same time there is not a problem with someone within sports calling the media out on it.
To conclude on the first part of the statement, no harm, no foul. As it would come to pass, that is not Mayweather’s full statement. Floyd would also Tweet, “Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.” Honestly when I read this part of the Tweet I do get a bit offended. Not as an Asian American, but as person with intelligence. Let me elaborate a little. When I turn on Sportscenter and watch the highlights, I see all kinds of praise for; Kobe, LeBron, D-Wade, CP3, Tim Duncan, I think you get the point. The summer before last all you heard in sports was where would LeBron play? This year after the lockout all the fuss was about Chris Paul and where he would end up. Then there was all the coverage on Dwight Howard. If Charles Jenkins were to outscore Kobe in a game and carry the Golden State Warriors to five straight wins and put up the numbers Lin has then he would get all the praise that Lin is getting as potential superstar. As I see it, gifted players get the equal praise. So is Mayweather’s Tweet racist? No, it is more insensitive than racist.
At the end of the day I look at it like this, Jeremy Lin got another headline; Floyd Mayweather Tweeted something else that could be considered offensive. If people did not know who Lin is or how well he is doing or what he means to the Asian American community, well now they do. Really how many people would read a headline about Jeremy Lin compared to how many would click on an article the puts a sports celebrity saying something insensitive towards an Asian American? Should we be surprised that a celebrity Tweets something offensive? Is the criticism that Floyd is receiving fair? You probably do not need me to tell you the answer to the first two, nonetheless, I do believe we all need to take responsibility for the things we say. We all say stupid/insensitive things and Floyd probably did not know he would offend so many people or maybe he did, nevertheless, he is being held accountable.