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Sergey Kovalev’s racism, will the Boxing world be outraged?

sergeyracist_edited

By. Wingy*

April 23, 2015

This one is a little sticky Kovalev fans (of which embarrassingly I was one) there’s no conceivable way to roll and duck your way free from this one. Sergey Kovalev is a big old racist Russian. It’s out there; this cold truth can’t be undone. Let’s shake it off, embrace the relief of acceptance, he’s racist. So, where do we go from here?

Let’s have a look at what went down, and tell me how they will swerve around this metaphorical car crash, if you will. He tweets an image of an innocent child, draped in a t shirt with an image of a boxer’s body on it, with the head replaced by that of a monkey. Then says the Monkey is a black boxer? (Adonis Stevenson)

No where to go right? So Kovalev crusaders, you have to swallow this, it’s racism; embarrassing, deplorable and blatant racism. Kovalev is aware of what he did. The reason he expressed his racism on social media for thousands to witness is because he is apparently less intelligent then we thought. This was indeed a truly catastrophic blunder if ever there was one, or was it? I wonder how many Boxing fans really feel that slighted by this outside of the black community? Sadly, I don’t feel they really do.

Sergey showed his true colours with that particular tweet, which was swiftly removed for a reason. Red faces present at team Kathy Duva’s offices were probably tripping over themselves in a frenzy of embarrassment, but will this revelation be preceded with the appropriate outrage it warrants? Again, I doubt it.

The real succulent red meat of the matter is discovered when sitting back with a knowing stroke of the beard and observing people’s reactions to this. The reactions and upset have been a lot more muted then I expected. There’s almost a feeling akin to forgiving what has happened, simply because he’s a really talented fighter. I think that’s what’s happening here, he’s also disappointingly forgiven, because he is a white boxer.

Didn’t Adrien Broner have to apologize for comments that were perceived as racist? These were comments that in all actual reality were not even racist, let alone any where near close to the scorching degrees of hate expressed by Kovalev calling black people monkeys. Will there be widespread calling for an apology from Sergey from the higher boxing powers?

There’s of course stifled room for debate with regards to the intentions, or perhaps apparent innocence of Kovalev. He has previously been the subject of racially heated discussion with regards to referring to Black people as “Negroes” in a Russian interview. Reflecting on him referring to Adonis Stevenson as a “piece of sh*t” in a post fight interview also invokes more sinister intentions now with hindsight.

Even those who in fumbling desperation, clamber for quotes of Stevenson apparently calling Kovalev a monkey, can appreciate there’s connotations to the association of black people with regards to this picture. Kovalev could have responded in any other manner negatively toward Stevenson, this was no rebuttal.

I would lean to thinking that only those who could defend his actions with regards to the image harbour similar views themselves, or have such a love for the fighter, they attempt to hide his rancid hatred, a desperate bid to some how smother it, a suffocation of his true thoughts.

I have openly called Kovalev my favourite fighter right now, my respect for his skills remains the same, for him as a person it’s now non existent. I openly question anyone defending this. I’d sit with the mindset of actually preferring any white knights defending him (no pun intended) to just raise a hand confessing to being racist, then at the very least as a black man, I know where I stand, racists are easier to tackle when they are open about their prejudice.

The problem is, previously fighters such as Tyson Fury have fired offensive barbs toward my own race. I chose to boycott the fighter completely. For over a year I didn’t watch his fights, never mentioned him on my Boxing Youtube channel, a complete blanket shut out of the man. Not one Youtube channel or online boxing outlet aware of my stance supported it. I point this out more as an interesting observation, as opposed to genuine upset.

As I’ve noted in more articles and blogs then I can now recall, negative views towards Adonis Stevenson; Floyd Mayweather; Al Haymon; Adrien Broner; Peter Quillin etc are bolstered by the added spices of racially motivated intentions. Some people who are born of other nationalities other then those of an African origin find this fact uncomfortable to stomach in Boxing. However I feel it’s true; there is an underlying hatred from a lot of Boxing fans toward black fighters, very easy to observe and very real.

Sergey Kovalev and team pulled out of negotiations with regards to facing Adonis Stevenson, who is now prepared to fight. Kovalev has not once been accused of ducking; in fact, the story was accepted and understood. Yet Stevenson’s reasons for not taking the Kovalev fight at the same time, business, just like Kovalev’s reasons, were attributed to cowardice.

bernard-hopkins-sergey-kovalev-weighin-03-photo-by-naoki-fukuda

This hypocrisy and such from fans isn’t explicitly racist, but race is certainly involved. A continual irrational hatred for Al Haymon despite delivering on his promise for the fights we were told would come this year, is again laced with a hint of racial upset from non black fans. I read too many comments daily, listen to too many phone-in shows and interact with too many fans of the sport to be convinced otherwise. It’s just very uncomfortable for people when the issue of racism against black boxers is raised, despite it being very real.

For Kovalev in the days that rolled on after his racist tweet, amusingly I’ve noted the excuses have come thick and fast “He has black trainers” the most used from the Kovalev defence force. The English defence league and BNP (two right wing racist groups from the UK) used Black/Asian people as well, this means little. If it makes good business sense sometimes even racists will quash their fears and hatred. John David Jackson is black, but he’s a great trainer, with a ton of experience; it’s probably as simple as that.

Study those who speak on this topic in depth, how they report it and their responses. If you feel they are straining at lengths, contorting and bending the factual reality of what happened, then question them.

The disturbing truth surrounding their true feelings may be a little frostier then expected, you may find they actually align them selves with Kovalev’s views, it won’t be too hard to identify if they do, and if they do; it’s hard to argue against them being racists as well. I’d place them comfortably within that category with very little reluctance.

If you decide to bring Kovalev defenders to task on these views or not, is of course the choice of you and yours alone. Again if you wish to forgive with flippancy, saying Adonis Stevenson does look like an ape, bypassing the toxic connotations that associating that animal with people of African decent raises, this is your choice. Just please; openly and proudly call yourself a racist. At the very least have conviction?

I hope Adonis Stevenson knocks Kovalev the f**k out, and I hope he does it brutally… I fear Kovalev is a little too talented for him though, and his victory could have a wider more hate fuelled significance it previously never would have had.

The open minded people of all races at Dontae’s boxing nation and my boxing group below for the most part expressed disgust toward Kovalev, and as a black man it’s always a relief to witness such positive reactions to a negative situation.

We now sit back and see if the wider boxing world follows suit.

*Wingy is the owner and creator of both the Wingy Boxing and Wingy Gaming YouTube channels. This article originally appeared on NationBoxing.com

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April 23, 2015 - Posted by | Blog, Commentary | ,

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