Plenty of fight fans are as angry as they are confused over the news that former two-time champ and respected commentator Paulie Malignaggi has been “permanently removed” from the broadcast team at Showtime. The reason, as has been reported by Ringtv.com, is “race comments.” Malignaggi spoke with IFL TV some weeks back, just after Devin Haney had made his “I’ll never let a white boy beat me,” statement, and Malignaggi apparently said things that cannot be said.
See if you feel Malignaggi was being racist in saying what he said:
“He probably wasn’t talking about [Vasily] Lomachenko,” Malignaggi began, referring to Haney’s comment. “I assume he was talking about Luke Campbell, who I think [is] the more viable opponent that Haney would be fighting. When you’re in your early 20s, you probably don’t express that very well, it’s not something that great to make racial [statements] in 2020, especially with so many racial tensions in the world.
“Boxing has had its course in history with certain demographics dominating more than others, right? Maybe like 100 years ago, Irish fighters were better. And then the Jews and the Italians came in. I think the African-American fighter became most dominant in the sport in the 70s, 80s, and even 90s. It’s not great to have the race discussion because it’s going to coordinate division. It’s (the Eastern European fighters) that have become the dominant species in boxing. I think stating something like that [Haney’s comment] could be very dangerous.”
So, are you offended? What am I missing here? Malignaggi was not being racist, at least in my opinion – how about yours? Plenty of fight fans have expressed their incredulity at what has happened to Malignaggi, for some one of the finest ‘tell it like it is’ commentators in the sport; these fans taking to social media to defend Malignaggi. It remains to be seen whether or not Malignaggi will also be relieved of his punditry duties over at Sky Sports in the UK.
So what do you guys think – have the days of free speech come to an end?