Kyrie Irving’s polarizing vaccine stance has many celebrities talking from the basketball world and sports adjacent to it.
Former pound-for-pound boxing king and consistent celebrity basketball game participant Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. recently weighed in on Irving’s anti-vaccination decision.
TBE Weighs In
Mayweather took to his social media account to reveal his support for Kyrie Irving and showed his philosophical side.
Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. America gave us the choice to take the vaccine or not take the vaccine. As time moves on, that choice is gradually being stripped from us. pic.twitter.com/7F6RsWaDkL
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) October 25, 2021
“Kyrie, what’s up? I know you’re going through a lot. I had a chance to hang out with you in 2016 when you represented America when you represented the red, white and blue.
“You only want to be treated fairly. I was going to post something on one of my social media pages but I decided to do it the old school way and read it out to you becauae you’re a great person, great father, great athlete and you believe what you believe.”
Collectively, the world gasped, with flashbacks to Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s accusations that the champ can’t read. Mayweather seemingly shattered that notion.
“America is the land of the free. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and supposably freedom to choose. Never be controlled by money. I respect you for having some integrity and being your own man. A free mind makes its own choices; an enslaved mind follows the crowd. Stand for something or fall for anything.
“One man can lead a revolution to stand up and fight for what’s right. One choice, one word, one action can change the world. It’s crazy how people hate you for being a leader. I hope your actions encourage many others to stand up and say enough is enough. Respect to you Kyrie and power to the people.”
Things That Make You Go Hmm
The stance is as polarizing and enigmatic as Mayweather himself is. Ironically, his choice to stand with Irving offers a glimpse into his new brand of thinking when it comes to monetary values.
The man who famously evolved from “Pretty Boy” Floyd under hall of fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, into “Money” Mayweather congratulated Irving for “Never be(ing) controlled by money.”
Irving is currently suspended from the Brooklyn Nets after deciding to take more time to decide whether he will get vaccinated. The decision comes at the cost of his NBA playing season.
Amid his reservations on restarting season, Kyrie Irving has lent a strong voice to ongoing call w/ NBA players tonight. One player in text: "He's trying to give players a platform to be able to have a discussion — on the bubble, racial equality and unity…It's a good call."
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 13, 2020
Irving has previously posed as if he were prepared to sacrifice money for principle. In July 2020 was very vocal behind the scenes for the NBA Players Association against restarting the season in the bubble; he reportedly said he wanted to allow the world to reflect and meditate on systemic racism in America. By that time Irving had been on the injury list for months after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery, and he actually did not stand to lose any game checks.
Mayweather has never sacrificed any money for a purpose other than his financial freedom from old promoter. Mayweather famously paid $750,000 to free himself from his contract with Top Rank in 2006.
It was the best business decision he ever made. After the move Mayweather became the pay-per-view king of boxing. However, he has never sacrificed a bag for a bigger purpose.
Additionally, Mayweather was a supporter of Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency, even attending his inauguration. Trump used Mayweather as a photo op pawn along with Trump, Jr. when he was hosting a parade of Black celebrities at his New York apartment building once he became the president-elect.
Mayweather did not attend Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Based on popular opinion about Trump’s presidency, it was not a strategic move to seem aligned with the MAGA man.
When, Mayweather Promotions star Gervonta “Tank” Davis fought in his hometown of Baltimore, it was the same week that Trump called the city a “disgusting rodent infested mess,” Mayweather had nothing to say.
The city showed up and sold out the Royal Farms Arena out in spite of no statement being made against Trump’s disrespect to the majority Black city.
The Ultimate Disrespect
Back when he fought Conor McGregor in what is now the second-highest selling boxing pay-per-view event of all time, Mayweather allowed McGregor to disrespect him, and Black people racially as fight hype.
Although he lamented that decision later, he said he picked the “best dance partner” for the fight based solely on the money generated worldwide for the two combatants.
However, McGregor disrespected Black people profusely during the lead up to the McGregor fight and Mayweather allowed it strictly for a monetary outcome.
Now in retirement, perhaps Mayweather has had a coming into reality moment since acquiring wealth through racially compromising means. Although his track record with building youth recreational centers and helping the homeless while maintaining a 100 percent Black-owned business is unquestionable, discussing a monetary sacrifice for principles is new for the pugilist.
The question that lies is, do we believe him?