Basketball kid from Harvard has a tough time landing a gig in the NBA. Spends time on his brother’s couch. He gets the call on the biggest stage in the world, New York City, and has a string of games that’s made for a Hollywood movie. Feel good story of the week, right? Wrong. Not for everyone. That’s because racially insecure guys like boxer Floyd Mayweather exist.
Mayweather posted on Twitter: “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.” …
“Other countries get to support/cheer their athletes and everything is fine,” he tweeted later Monday. “As soon as I support Black American athletes, I get criticized.”
No, Floyd—people are criticizing you because you’re an idiot. Should I go down the list of black basketball stars that the sporting world has (rightfully) fawned over for their athletic prowess over the last few decades? Sometimes, black athletes are so popular that years after they retire people still riot over their shoes… As a former kid from Chicago who grew up following Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, wore their shoes, collected their Wheaties cereal boxes and dragged my parents to get their cheesy championship t-shirts the morning after, I hereby proclaim Floyd a fool (knowing full-well that he could break my neck with one punch if he ever met me in person).
There really was no reason for Mayweather to inject race into the matter, but like Samuel L. Jackson he’s obsessed with it. Whereas the majority of the population just wants to get caught up in a really nice story about a nice kid, malcontents like Mayweather need to somehow make it about the downtrodden, millionaire black basketball players who aren’t getting the media exposure they deserve. Hyphenated Americans like Mayweather are usually a bitter bunch, but luckily more and more Americans see themselves as just that—American. There’s no need for weirdly capitalizing “White” or “Black” for most folks, and that’s a good sign. It’s just too bad that a big ball of debt is about to rain down on us like a Jeremy Lin three pointer at the buzzer, one of the rare cases where that analogy would actually be a bad thing.