22 February 2012
I generally try to keep posts on this blog limited to what's going on inside the ring, what fights might be coming down the road and things related to those two themes. But the war of words between all of the people named in this post title has now reached the point that it's too ridiculous not to mention.
First, Floyd Mayweather felt the need to mention NBA sensation Jeremy Lin on Twitter. Suffice it to say, though, that Money has not been overcome by Linsanity. Instead, he said this:
Sadly, there is no denying that race is a part of the Lin saga. I'm just not sure the country needed Mayweather to be the one to try to sort the whole thing out.
Two days ago, in what started out as an unrelated story, Manny Pacquaio gave an exclusive interview to Yahoo! Sports in which he claimed that the big reason he isn't fighting Mayweather this spring is that Floyd tried to stiff him on the purse. Specifically, Manny said that Money offered $40 million flat but no pay-per-view revenue.
(As an aside, I've long stopped caring about or determining blame concerning why Pacquiao-Mayweather can't be made. But offering Pac-Man less than half the money and then going public with the claim that Manny turned down $40 million and doesn't want to fight does sound like something he'd do. Just saying.)
Leave it to the always quotable Dana White, head honcho of the UFC, to tie both of these topics together. White used part of his "Presidential Address" segment last night on Fuel TV to blast Mayweather as a racist, both for the Lin tweet and some of the things Money has said about Pac-Man in the past. He also urged Mayweather to shut up and make the Pacquiao fight.
If you're a UFC fan or just follow sports news pretty closely, you already know that White is crazy like a fox when it comes to promoting the UFC. Yet he got his start as a boxing promoter, and there's no reason to doubt him when he says that he's still a fan and is just as anxious to see the superfight as any of the rest of us. There's really nothing in it for him to give Mayweather and Pacquiao some more free publicity.
In any case, things really got interesting when Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe jumped into the fray, echoing recent allegations that UFC fighters other than the main eventers get taken advantage of by the promotion's pay structure. White would have none of that, aiming one of his trademark obscenities back at Ellerbe and making a swipe at the perceived downfall of boxing. Fun stuff all the way around.
At the end of the day, my gut feeling is that Mayweather is not a racist. I think he says things at times that are insensitive, but he probably knows that going in and says them anyway to get attention. I don't know what things he says come from the heart and what things are part of his act, and I'm not so sure even the journalists who have covered him closely for his whole career can tell any different.
So White was a little out of line with the racist crack, but I'm okay with him telling Floyd to shut up and make the fight. He's not saying anything the rest of us don't already feel, he just has a much more public forum for doing so. Hopefully he'd say similar things to Pacquiao when excuses come from his camp.
And once Ellerbe jumped in, everything was fair game in my opinion. Who knows if this is the end or there's more to come. If you don't already have a Twitter account, you might want to get yourself one just in case.