Writer Opinion – By: Vivek “Vito” Wallace – As a credentialed photojournalist in the world of Boxing for the past 15 years, I’ve seen many stories cross the wire about Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. A few good, but many bad, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. After all, that’s how he amassed his millions, and pissing people off enough to see if someone could beat him was his main stroke of genius.
As I watch this developing story about the Gucci protest and his response to it unfold, I’m reminded of a conversation that took place involving Mayweather a few years back on the heels of another race-related story in the headlines.
As a few of media members stood by, Mayweather made a statement that resonates more now – in the aftermath of this conversation – than ever. To a strong degree, it solidifies exactly why he holds the position he does today.
Paraphrased, he stated to those huddled around him: “every time something happens in the African American community we hear things like “you need to support only black businesses”, or “we need to support each other and stand by each other”. He then asked, “If I came to your house right now, how many of you m*********** have a TMT shirt or hat hanging up”?
He then continued (paraphrased) “every time I make a mistake my people tear me down first. So where is that unity?” He finished by saying in so many words (paraphrased) “The whole unity thing in our community is used with convenience. But whose convenience is it if it works when YOU need it but not me? Is it mine or yours?”
Mayweather has said and done many things to support the African American community in the past, but limited support and a lack of consistency with that support seems to have left a stain deep in within his brain. As much as we dislike many of his antics, his position holds a lot of weight, and here’s why:
Prior to the NFL season, there was a major push by celebrities, entertainers, and beyond within the African American community to boycott the NFL for the way the league handled Colin Kaepernick. Guess what? Colin still doesn’t have a job….but I’ll be damned if nearly every African American (with the money to play with and the time to visit the city) wasn’t partying their a**** off in “Hotlanta” for the Superbowl. And that list includes Atlanta’s biggest and brightest stars (no names necessary).
Those who couldn’t attend the festivities had a house full of family and friends present to watch the very game they said they wanted nothing to do with (when it was the in-trend to follow).
Bottom line, I’ve never purchased ANYTHING Gucci, and never had an interest in doing so. But for those who are suddenly “boycotting”, answer THIS:
Are you still watching the NFL? Are you eating Dunkin’ Donuts? Are you sippin’ Starbucks? Are you watching Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon? Are you listening to Katy Perry? Are you paying to see Conor McGregor?
If you answered YES to even one of those you just solidified his position by telling us “YOU (also) DO WHAT THE _______ YOU WANNA DO….NOT WHAT OTHERS THINK YOU SHOULD DO”! (A direct quote of Mayweather’s response when asked about the Boycott).
He may not be the most politically correct athlete in the world, but as the old adage tells us, “even a broken clock is right twice a day”. Those who aren’t showing that solidarity when it comes to him and his movement can’t expect him to show solidarity when it comes to them and their’s. He and I don’t always agree….but this time, I think he has a point. Just my thoughts. Please feel free to share yours.
(Vivek “Vito” Wallace can be reached at 301.283.1313, email@example.com, Facebook, Twitter (@vitosangle), or right here at Boxing247.com in various weekly columns)