Sulaiman was caught in a crush of public scorn when he said beating a woman is no big deal, while sucking up to Floyd Mayweather. On Wednesday, he offered an apology of sorts, blaming a language barrier. (Hogan)
On Wednesday afternoon, I called for a retraction from Jose Sulaiman, or a resignation. A few hours later, a clarification from WBC president Sulaiman was distributed to fightwriters, in an attempt to clean up the mess left by his offensive, ignorant remarks about domestic violence.
A few days ago, Sulaiman was asked about Floyd Mayweather's impending jail stint, following his sentencing for a domestic altercation which occurred in September 2010. The sanctioning body chief seemed to go out of his way to defend the WBC welterweight champion, Floyd Mayweather, and stated that in his eyes, hitting a woman is no big deal.
For a regular joe, hitting a woman is a reprehensible act, and for a boxer, probably even more so, because a fighter, a person being attacked knows, can do serious damage with their bare fists.
Sulaiman was quoted on Tuesday by Ronnie Nathanielsz on Boxing Scene saying, that “beating a lady is highly critical, [but] it is not a major sin or crime.” Some wondered if the Spanish-speaking Sulaiman was misquoted, or something was garbled in translation. Early on Wednesday, I expressed the hope that this was so, and opined that if he didn't clarify or retract his statement, which is not defensible, he should resign his post.
A couple hours later, after I reached out to a Sulaiman representative, and sent along some questions for the leader, he did indeed release a statement of “clarification.” The jury of me is still out on whether this absolves Sulaiman in the matter. Frankly, I find it hard to see how his true feelings were misrepresented so handily.
Here is the Sulaiman “clarification” statement, which you'll notice is sealed with a big ole wet kiss to WBC champ Mayweather. Yuck..
“I would like to clarify my feelings about some recent comments of mine, and apologize for not finding the right words in English – there are many times when I cannot find the right words to express what I really mean. The comments attributed to me are a complete misrepresentation of my true feelings.
“I am a devoted husband and father of two daughters, and have three wonderful granddaughters, as well. The Virgin of Guadalupe is my superior saint. I am the person that developed female boxing, and I am the person in the WBC that has always been concerned with the protection of women in the ring. I have always been a strong supporter of women’s rights and the protection of women in society. Those are the facts – everybody knows me.
“In my comments, I just meant to say that I have always been in the corner of all the boxers of the world. They are my greatest heroes and, good or bad, I will always be in their corner.
“I know Floyd Mayweather personally, and I know that he’s a good person. I know that he accepted a plea deal for a serious offense, and I did not intend to make light of that. The judge sentenced him to 90 days, which I think is fair. But I know that Floyd is a good human being with a good heart, and I am confident that he will redeem himself with his actions in the future.
“I just wanted Floyd to know that the WBC will always stay strongly in his corner.”
Readers, maybe I made too big a deal of the remark. But I just chatted with Sergio Martinez last week for a long spell after he visited two domestic violence shelters in NYC. The subject was fresh on my mind. I like to see boxing represented by decent souls, and when I can, like to encourage people to act the right way. Feel free to weigh in on the matter, in our Forum.