Bernard Hopkins’ Latest Punch

I’m back. The life of a college student can certainly be hectic especially during this time of year. Luckily finals are over and it is summer time. I’m back to writing my opinions and reporting on sports once again for you guys to read and I apologize for not posting regularly as of late. I must say with the hectic deadlines of school as well as the radio show that I started working this past semester it got harder to post regularly but that is no excuse. I’ve received some comments from readers of this blog that even though were harsh in some respects, opened my eyes to the fact that there are people who read this blog and I have to be dedicated to posting. So on to the matter of business at hand…

Bernard Hopkins has had his share of insults for Donovan McNabb.

For a point in time, two of the most well-known Philadelphia sports figures were Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the city’s favorite team (at the time) and Bernard Hopkins, one of the most feared Boxers in the world and native son of Philadelphia. Even though they shared this city, they were indeed polar opposites. One was outspoken and very blunt with his opinions while the other was somewhat introverted and closed off to the fans.

For whatever reason, this difference between them fueled much criticism from one to the other. Bernard Hopkins has always been outspoken about his disdain for Donovan McNabb but it can clearly be asserted that he has gone too far this time. Hopkins in the past has criticized McNabb for being a poor quarterback and a bad leader and all of those critiques are fine. They are merely opinions. However his recent comments about McNabb have gone beyond that. He called McNabb out for being “too white: of a black man and used that as a point for why McNabb failed to get along with former Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens. Aligning yourself with Terrell Owens should certainly be a red flag.

Donovan McNabb has not responded directly to Hopkins choosing to release a statement with his agent.

McNabb and his agent released a statement which defended McNabb and his athletic prowess while also stating that it was wrong for Hopkins to question anyone based on the way they behave and how that connects to their race. One startling instance occurred in response to McNabb’s statements and it did not come from Hopkins. It came from Philadelphia Daily News writer Marcus Hayes. Hayes stated in an article about McNabb’s statement that McNabb proved Hopkins’ point due to the statement’s “convoluted wording and elitist tone”. Upon reading those words all I could do was look on in astonishment. Is Hayes saying that because the statement was well written and in language that a college graduate would understand that it is “too white”? It is one thing to see stereotypes perpetuated by our athletes but when our journalists start to spread them, it is truly sad. Anyway this article is not an attack on Hayes even though I read the statement and I did not find it to be convoluted at all. Perhaps it was just too confusing for him. Moving on…

Back to B-Hop. First off, I do not understand where this sense of being able to deem yourself as the person who decides who is acting black enough and who is not comes from. I must have missed the day when we all voted Bernard Hopkins as the supreme judge of blackness. I must say, I personally would not want to live in a world where Bernard Hopkins decides how I should behave. Athletes historically are not the best source for lessons on how to live life. Hopkins should take a step back and realize that he doesn’t play that role in society. He is merely a form of entertainment for boxing fans (although his bouts have barely been that lately. Remember Hopkins v. Jones) to watch on tv. His social commentary on blackness is not relevant.

Hopkins, and many others need to realize, if the ideology of “being black” still exists, than racism and discrimination will still exist. Blaming McNabb for being a company man is like criticizing any minority for excelling in an atmosphere with more white citizens. I wonder if Hopkins would have thought that Martin Luther King was acting too white for wanting blacks to be equal with whites in this country as opposed to being segregated and degraded. I wonder if he thought Barack Obama was being too white for wanting to be president of the United States.

Growing up in the area, Hopkins has always been the favorite boxer. There were many nights in my household growing up when we ordered the fight, tuned into watch all the no name fights before it, and then cheer on Hopkins. But the more that I heard the man outside the ring, the more I realized that his boxing was all I needed to take from ” The Executioner”.

Maybe Hopkins just needs attention. He does have a fight coming up so maybe he’s trying to be a savvy business man (I wonder if he thinks being a savvy business man is “too white” also) and this is a stab at getting some publicity. Either way, he needs to realize that no one cares what he thinks unless it pertains to punching someone. I do not know what Hopkins considers as “being black”. Maybe he believes it is growing up in a low-income family, struggling through life, and going to jail. If so, he needs to come to reality. That is not “being black”. That is being Bernard Hopkins and he does not need to make the rest of the world like him.

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