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Floyd Mayweather

Cold Cash Matters: Floyd Mayweather Slams Kaepernick’s Anthem Protest

To Floyd Mayweather, the only color that matters is green — the pigment of cold, hard cash.

Boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather — the retired fighter who was named the richest athlete by Forbes last year and who is reportedly worth $400 million dollars — has a message for Colin Kaepernick: the only color that matters in this big ol’ global capitalistic meat grinder of ours is green.

That’s the essence of his advice to the quarterback-turned-activist when he cautioned Kaepernick — who, two months ago, ignited the National Anthem protest that took the country by storm, Jackie Robinson-style — to, bluntly speaking, get his priorities straight.

“Kaepernick needs to try and get the starting job. Stand up and get the starting job. That’s what he needs to focus on,” Mayweather observed.

What’s the translation? That Kaepernick should be a token and show the black community that anyone can achieve the American Dream if they commit their mind to it? Nah. That would be too generous.

What Mayweather is referring to is something crasser: “get that money.”

If his famous moniker didn’t give that away, his follow-up statement, in which he applauds the financial rewards of Kaepernick’s stance, certainly does.

“He’s got the number-one-selling jersey, so it’s obvious he’s doing something right,” Mayweather said.

Apparently, Mayweather missed the part where Kaepernick declared that he would donate 100 percent of the money made from selling his jersey — which is listed at $99 — to charity. Never mind that. For Mayweather, black lives matter — and social struggle in general — is only as good as millions you make from milking it.

Related: Lil’ Wayne, “New Black” Philosophy, and The Complexity of Racial Identity

What’s the context for all this enlightenment? Well, apparently, during an interview with The Boxing Voice following an event he sponsored, Mayweather decided to break with tradition and get political, offering his thoughts on black lives matter, the three-year-old movement formed as a response to the state-sanctioned war on black America.

After staking his fortune on the “all lives matter” horse, Mayweather told the interviewer,”A lot of times, we get stuck and we are followers. When you hear one person say, ‘black lives matter,’ or ‘blue lives matter’ — all lives matter.”

Since “all lives matter,” who, exactly, is to blame for these atrocities we’re seeing in uploaded video after uploaded video and dash-cam footage, in the numbers from the studies and statistics that confirm racial bias in American police departments?

“Both sides,” says Mayweather. Which is to say, Black people, if I’m deciphering the code right, because they’re — as the old saying goes — hard-headed:

“What I learned from boxing and what everyone can take in real life is to follow directions, follow order. Don’t give nobody a hard time.”

After saying but not saying that a lot of black people are “followers” who give police a “hard time,” Mayweather went on to give what amounted to a textbook definition of the function of police in American society:

“When someone breaks in your house, when someone breaks in your car, the first thing we do, we call the police,” Mayweather elaborated. “With me being a fighter, and my hands being registered, if I hit a guy for breaking in my house, or breaking in my car, it’s gonna cost me more money, so I gotta work smarter, not harder. I’m gonna call the cops.”

He summed up his comments by suggesting that both parties should work on their communication skills. “It’s not right what’s going on within this world on both sides,” Mayweather said. “I think we need to communicate better, and I think we need to follow direction. There’s rules and regulations to everything.”

He certainly got one thing right. It’s not right. None of it. As for all the rest, which consists of philosophizing about why cold hard cash rules everything around us, chalk it up as more “new black” twaddle to add to the gobbledygook I wrote about here.

As I wrote in that piece, the black moneyed aristocracy — a group to which “Money” Mayweather undeniably belongs — evidence “unfinished business” in black America. Cold cash is all that matters to this wing of the black community, which is as much a pariah in the progress of black lives as the white supremacy at the helm of white existence.



Antwan is an educator, cultural critic, actor, and writer for Wear Your Voice Mag (WYV), where he focuses on the dynamics of class, race, gender, politics, and pop culture. Prior to joining the team at WYV, he was an adjunct professor in the African American Studies Department at Valdosta State University in southern Georgia, where he taught African American Literature. He has traveled the U.S. and U.K. showcasing a fifty-five minute, one-person play titled Whitewash, which focuses on the state of black men in the post-civil rights era. Antwan received his B.A. in English and Literature from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and M.A. in African American Studies from University of California, Los Angeles. He is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and NAACP theater nominee.

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