Image Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder took his first professional loss last Saturday and Black Twitter exploded with disappointment.
Because the fight was held in February, the community thought that it gave Wilder ample ability to make the fight about pride. Add to the mix the fact that Wilder is African-American and his opponent is a Caucasian European and you have a cauldron of expectation.
All I’m gonna say is, Floyd Mayweather never let us down during Black History Month.
— yes (@iAmTerrace) February 23, 2020
However, although the first pairing of Wilder vs. Fury birthed the “‘Til This Day” viral video, the fight itself did not make Deontay the savior of the Diaspora.
When you read the receipts, he gave the ‘Til This Day salvo to a journalist of color, Radio Rahim. The way he was asked the racially polarized question, disassociated himself from his blackness (whether intentional or unintentional).
Wilder’s retort then was timely but apparently it gave many the wrong impression of his circumstance.
Wilder is a pugilist. He started boxing to help his daughter who suffers from spina bifida. He never rode into boxing on a Jack Johnson horse to balance the racial narrative in sports.
As KO wins piled up, he was probably subjected to a more racially motivated characterization of why his power is so impactful.
Black men have always suffered the myth of being beings of brute force rather than intellect. That’s historical.
However, with one devastating loss, Wilder let many down for their Black History Month celebration. To those individuals, I say to pick a better representative.
Not because Wilder isn’t a top tier athlete of color, but because his banner of pride is still in its nascency and his career cannot be wrapped up in one loss to a white competitor.
Floyd “The Mexican Killer” Mayweather would never let a caucasian even touch his face pic.twitter.com/sAzSf17S7L
— I MISS YOU KOBE (@YallSomeFatH0es) February 23, 2020
Black Twitter Failed
Upon the towel being thrown into the ring by trainer Mark Breland, a two-time world champion and 1984 Olympic gold medalist, black Twitter exploded.
Entrees into how Floyd Mayweather, Jr. would have never let “us” down during black history month abounded and it was disgusting.
A quick perusal of his record would have shown that Mayweather only fought during May and September annually. In fact, out of the three times, he fought in February, the last time was 1999 against Carlos Rios, Mayweather was barely a year into his first world title.
Floyd Mayweather after watching that fight pic.twitter.com/5NEyAw8DNR
— 𝜬 𝘼 𝑪 Ϗ ☆ (@JetpackJustin) February 23, 2020
Now that Deontay Wilder has collectively entered our consciousness as our world champion it is unfair to execute an ambassadorship of blackness onto his legacy.
Wilder is a great champion and he will be back so why make him a victim of cancel culture as soon as he doesn’t meet your expectations when the light is brightest?
We didn’t do that to Muhammad Ali when he lost to Joe Frazier. We didn’t do that to Mike Tyson when he fell to Buster Douglas in Tokyo.
floyd mayweather the only black athlete you can rely on
— 🖤 (@DeelanRH) February 23, 2020
We redeemed George Foreman after the loss to Ali in the Rumble In The Jungle when many judged him for keeping a German Shepard by his side and waving an American flag proudly.
Now your mama and them all have a Foreman Grill.
Wilder claims his ring walk costume was a tribute to Black History Month. He also stated that the 40 pounds it carried weakened his legs and he didn’t feel his normal self against Fury.
See what all that weight can do to a man?
Relax with the meme’s and faux comedic banter about the tragedy that happened on Saturday and settle into realizing Wilder is human.
I’m sure while you are turning over turkey burgers on your Foreman Grill you will realize that Wilder was never the bannerman for your Black History expectation.
He was just a man doing his job and had a rare off night.