Floyd Mayweather wasn’t backing down from comments he has made about Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks’ point guard, or restraining himself from taking a jab at Manny Pacquiao — even though he isn’t fighting Pacquiao any time soon.
“Like I said, the media always take your words and screw ’em up,” Mayweather said at a press conference for his May 5 fight with Miguel Cotto. “They failed to say that I said the guy was a good player.”
Mayweather drew criticism for tweeting: “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. As soon as I support Black American athletes, I get criticized. ... 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.”
Mayweather said he doesn’t actually tweet and refused to reveal who does under his name. “I can’t tell you. It’s a secret. But it’s not me,’’ he said (via Tim Smith of the New York Daily News). “I’ve got more than one person who works on my Twitter page. But did I tell them what to tweet? Yes, I did. Do I regret what I said? Absolutely not. I stand by what I said and I meant what I said.”
Mayweather drew a comparison with Cotto, who said he was fighting for Puerto Rican fans. “It’s okay for Miguel Cotto to represent the Puerto Rican fans and represent the Puerto Rican flag,” Mayweather said. “I’m a black American. I believe in supporting my own first. That’s where I come from. They can feel my struggle if they come from the same background that I come from. That’s what I’m going to stand by.
“It’s so crazy. I’m not racist at all. I have Jewish people that work for me. Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, white people who work for me. One of my best friends, Kip, is a white guy. All-American. That’s my guy.’’
Although he isn’t fighting Pacquiao any time soon, Mayweather took a dig at him, saying: “Just by speaking to Pacquiao on the phone, I mean, he's not one of the sharpest knives in the drawer. He faces Floyd Mayweather, he's not getting [a] 50-50 [split on payday]. Not at all. No one is getting 50-50.”
Pacquiao wasn’t offering any replies. As for his feelings about Lin, he made them clear in an exchange with Lin on Twitter:
@MannyPacquiao thanks for the love! Huge fan of yours!— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) February 24, 2012
@JLin7 Jeremy, you make us all very proud.— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) February 25, 2012
More from Washington Post Sports
Jason Reid: With Lin, ethnicity is only part of the story
Early Lead: ESPN fires editor who wrote headline
Early Lead: ESPN apologizes for headline
Blog Post: Bigotry in sports is nothing new