Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. sparked some controversy on Monday (February 13) when he commented about the sudden popularity boost of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, crediting the attention he’s received to his race, rather than his exceptional play on the court.
In a tweet this week, the undefeated boxing great stirred things up.
“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,” Mayweather wrote (@FloydMayweather).
Lin’s camp has not commented as of press time.
After receiving some flack over his words, Mayweather followed up late Monday, via a series of tweets, claiming that he’s only saying what other NBA players are also thinking.
“Its OK for ESPN to give their opinion but I say something and everyone questions Floyd Mayweather,” the boxer tweeted. “I’m speaking my mind on behalf of other NBA players. They are programmed to be politically correct and will be penalized if they speak up.
“Other countries get to support/cheer their athletes and everything is fine. As soon as I support Black American athletes, I get criticized.”
Since early February, Lin has been the talk of the town for his unprecedented play over the last five games, which has led the Knicks to a five-game win streak.
His performance has made him the first player in league history to have at least 20 points and seven assists in each of his four career starts. Scoring 109 points in his first four career starts, Lin’s scoring tear is the most by any player since the NBA and ABA merged in 1976, besting Allen Iverson who held the previous mark of 101.
In his last five game, the 23-year-old is averaging 26.8 points and 8 assists.
If that isn’t worthy of national attention, then what is?
This isn’t the first time Mayweather has received backlash for racially insensitive remarks. Back in September 2012, he went on a profanity-filled racist and homophobic rant against Manny Pacquiao in a Ustream broadcast, telling the Filipino boxing star to “make some sushi rolls and cook some rice,” and later added: “we’re going to cook him with some cats and dogs.”