The ill-advised boxing match between the killer of Trayvon Martin and a not-yet-named lunatic with a revenge fantasy, money problems or both was cancelled by its promoter on Saturday. Thank goodness. It was a bad idea from the start.
“I made the right decision I could of [sic] made big $$$ but I would rather be happy,” Damon Feldman scribbled on Twitter. He also said that he would address the matter in a press conference on Tuesday. What for?
Perhaps Feldman is going to tell us that the celebrity in the bout would not have been the attention-starved George Zimmerman but the rappers DMX and The Game. That’s what he said on his Twitter feed on Thursday. Or about how The Game wanted $3 million for the fight. Or maybe he will more publicly engage in the self-reflection he has done on Twitter.
More than a few were furious after George Zimmerman announced at the end of last month that he was going to participate in a “celebrity” boxing match in March to raise money for an unnamed animal rescue charity. Feldman initially told TMZ, rather naively, “We’re not looking at it as a race thing.” And it’s safe to say he was the only one seeing it that way.
Despite the gracious wishes of the slain teen’s parents, folks rhetorically lined up to get a piece of Zimmerman. And then there are The Game and DMX, who made their revenge fantasies public in the most vulgar of terms. The Game told TMZ, “I will beat the f— out of him.” Meanwhile, DMX went one better. “I am going to beat the living f— out him,” DMX said, “I am breaking every rule in boxing to make sure I f— him right up.” Charming.
For a day or so, it looked like DMX was getting his wish. Feldman announced on Wednesday that the rapper with a long arrest record of drug and motor vehicle offenses would step into the ring with Zimmerman. But DMX’s agent said within hours that “no contract or paperwork has been signed or agreed to yet.” Still, that didn’t stop Feldman from tweeting that DMX was training with Shannon Briggs.
Some 15,000 people applied for the chance to get a piece of Zimmerman. But Feldman’s better angels prevailed with an impressive assist from my Twitter follower @ReignofApril, who tweeted and spoke with Feldman about the fight.
“I appealed to him as a father, as a businessman, and as a citizen of this country that is trying to heal,” she told me. “It was my goal to make him see the far-reaching repercussions this bout would have not just for him, but for the nation. I am relieved that he heard me.” When I asked her to characterize his response, April said, “He was honestly willing to listen, which I appreciated. He told me that he had no idea that this would escalate the way it had and that he wanted to do the right thing. He indicated that the public outcry had opened up his eyes to the strong feelings involved.”
“Just want to thank everyone for the support and love,” Feldman tweeted Thursday in a characteristic run-on sentence. “I don’t want anyone thinking I’m making a mockery out of the tragedy its [sic] entertainment.” Entertainment that isn’t remotely entertaining when the killer of an unarmed teenager is the main attraction.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj