There was an elephant in the room at Gleason’s Gym on Tuesday, and I asked Bernard Hopkins, semi-obliquely, about it, about the race comments he made the other day to ESPN.com’s Brian Campbell.
The “youngest old man in sports” didn’t wish to revisit the topic, when I queried him, as he was shadow boxing and doing mitt work at Gleason’s Gym during a workout for media on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of his Saturday clash against 31-year-old power puncher Sergey Kovalev.
Is the mainstream media giving you the respect you deserve, I asked Hopkins, referencing his statement that he thinks if he were not black, he’d be bigger.
“It’s because I’m black,” the all-time great, a physical and mental marvel, told ESPN.
On Tuesday, he didn’t want to go there; “I already talked about it,” he said.
Hopkins said that he will back up what he said to ESPN on Nov. 8, and that he wanted to put the issue out there, for us to digest. He said that he wanted to put it out there, let it rest, and then let us decide again after he’s performed how he thinks he will, against yet another young bomber. He admitted he raised the stakes with his race comment, and knows there will be more pressure on him to perform.
Say this for the man, he is unafraid to touch that third rail, to bring up up verboten subjects, to ask questions which cast him in a less than cuddly light.
Forum folks, talk to me. Many if not most smart people I talk to disagree with Hopkins, and cite Floyd Mayweather making $33 million a fight as evidence that the color of the skin doesn’t influence his popularity, or lack thereof. I maintain that most assignment editors are Caucasian, and give extra love to their own tribe. What say you?
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