Open Thread, Floyd Mayweather Goes Full Racist Edition

Because everything Floyd Mayweather says is designed to stir up some kind of faux controversy that gets him headlines and helps him make money playing the villain, it’s a worthwhile question whether writers should entirely ignore his antics. But, sometimes, he says something so horrible it requires repuditiation far and wide.

In the above NSFW video, Mayweather indulges in his trademark homophobia but adds some racism to it when talking about Manny Pacquiao, an Asian, making him a “sushi roll,” referring to eating “cats and dogs” and calling him “yellow.”

If Mayweather has any fans left after the last couple months, it would be hard to understand why. Some of his fans have tried to play up that he’s a good person, and that the villain thing is all an act. What I know is that he’s a convicted woman-beater who is also either A. an actual homophobe and racist (which would be ironic, given his accusations toward HBO and others of racism) or B. the kind of person who would use homophobic remarks and racist remarks to sell himself. Even if it’s B., what kind of good person does that? And besides, you’re still stuck with the woman-beater thing.

In recently discussing the nature of fandom, I allowed that someone could be a fan of a performer without being a fan of the person. Yet, Mayweather isn’t performing. He had a chance to fight Pacquiao in the biggest fight in decades, turned it down, and then goes on a despicable trash-talking rant toward the very person he’s apparently afraid to fight. He’s not even sure he wants to fight anymore, he said. If that’s the case, then all Mayweather is, to me, is a gifted former boxer who’s now merely a racist, homophobe woman-beater. Nothing to be a fan of there, either.

There’s another thing. Here we have one of the richest athletes in the world uttering racist, homophobic remarks, and it’s gotten nary a whiff of the kind of national repudiation you’d see if an NFL player said anything similar to what Mayweather did. There have been no demands for apologies. Maybe it’s because news of it just really surfaced yesterday? Maybe it’s because boxing is that irrelevant? Maybe it’s because people know Mayweather is so disreputable and so frequently phony that repudiating him it would be a waste of breath? Maybe boxing just doesn’t register as warranting any kind of outrage of that scope, since it’s the red light district of sports, no matter how big the boxer? Maybe it’s because boxing is the last segment of boxing fandom where tribal allegiances are tolerated?

I don’t know. But that’s my two cents worth of repudiation. I’d be interested in your thoughts. And this being Open Thread, I’d be interested in your thoughts on whatever else is on your mind.

To offset the horribleness of the video above, for this month’s music selection here are two of my favorite artists doing a sloppy, but fun, rendition of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.