Floyd Mayweather Jr. reached under the table and tapped the leg of his longtime adviser with the back of his left hand.
As the pack of reporters waited for Mayweather’s response, it was Leonard Ellerbe who broke the silence.
“I can answer that,” said Ellerbe, the chief executive of Mayweather’s promotional company.
“Race,” Ellerbe declared, “isn’t a factor in any of this.”
Denials like this have become the de facto company line in the buildup to Mayweather’s showdown Saturday with mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor.
I really would like to believe Ellerbe. Some readers accuse sportswriters of wanting to interject political or sociological commentary into their copy, but the truth is there’s nothing the majority of us would rather do less. We went into sports to escape problems that are beyond our control, not to confront them.
Only here, the subject of race is inescapable.
Mayweather is African American. McGregor is a white Irishman. It’s the main reason for why a boxing match between the greatest boxer of his generation and a cage fighter with no professional boxing experience is expected to become the most-watched pay-per-view event in history.
More than a century after Jack Johnson defended his heavyweight championship against a fighter who came to be known as “The Great White Hope,” it’s back to a brilliant but
Article source: http://www.latimes.com/sports/boxing/la-sp-mayweather-mcgregor-hernandez-20170822-story.html
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