Hopkins Calzaghe: Why does it always have to be a “Black or White” thing?

23.12.07 - By Phil Santos – - Once again an ugly, bigoted, racist comment brings to light the racial divide that still, to this day, exists in our world. Today it’s Bernard Hopkins, someone who should be able to hype a potential fight without saying “I would never let a white boy beat me. I would never lose to a white boy. I couldn't go back to the projects if I let a white boy beat me." White people, Europeans and anyone who doesn’t have a tint to their skin tone beware; making similar comments will get you fired, ruin your reputation or worse..

bernard hopkinsAlmost immediately following the incident the excuses justifying his behavior began to circulate. Some said he is a master of promotion, or he is merely fueling the fire for a fight between Joe Calzaghe and himself, thus pitting nation vs. nation and race vs. race.

Maybe you can buy that. Maybe that seems perfectly logical to you. To me it sounds like an ignorant fool who has to resort to racial slurs for lack of more intelligent banter. Hopkins is a lock for the Hall of Fame, he is a two division world champion, a superbly talented fighter and, given these most recent comments, a jackass.

What makes this situation disheartening is that had Calzaghe returned fire with an anti-black remark he would surely be labeled a racist. His career accomplishments would be disparaged and his character called into question. It is as if a skillful white fighter should know better than to sink to such a low but when a talented black man says so justification can be established.

I am far from the first or last to note the inconsistencies which subsist in our sport and our culture. Issues will persist and our best hope is that instances like Hopkins spouting off bullshit will open people’s eyes and start a dialog that leads to a compromise between people and races. Both Hopkins and Calzaghe have earned their status as All-Time Great fighters. They earned that distinction between the ropes and in the gym. The fact that skin color has been brought to the forefront, in my opinion, detracts attention from these terrific warriors’ prior achievements and emphasizes a negative.

Article posted on 23.12.2007

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