Dana White: Floyd Mayweather a 'racist'

Updated: February 24, 2012, 6:23 PM ET
By Franklin McNeil | ESPN.com

UFC president Dana White called WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. a racist Tuesday night for comments the boxer made recently about New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.

Mayweather caused a stir Feb. 13 when he tweeted: "Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise."

Lin, an Asian-American and Harvard graduate, recently became a Knicks phenomenon by leading the team to seven wins in his first seven starts. He is averaging 14.6 points and 5.7 assists in 19 games with New York after being cut by Golden State in the preseason.

In an interview on Fuel TV, White responded to Mayweather's comments.

"First of all, what [Mayweather] said, I think, is racist. He's made a couple of racist comments. And yes, Floyd, you're racist with the stuff that you've said," White said.

"First of all, Jeremy Lin gets all this credit because he's an Asian player in the NBA that African-Americans never get? Yeah, he's getting all this praise because he is an Asian guy playing in the NBA.

White continued: "And you say African-Americans don't get it? Really? Kobe Bryant doesn't get any praise? Michael Jordan never got any praise? The list goes on and on of guys who completely get praised for being great NBA basketball players. Not only can [Lin] compete and make it in the NBA, the guy is tearing it up and is breaking records, you knucklehead."

Mayweather expounded on his position after reading the original story on ESPN.com, tweeting: "It's okay for ESPN to give their opinion but I say something and everyone questions Floyd Mayweather. I'm speaking my mind on behalf of other NBA players. They are programmed to be politically correct and will be penalized if they speak up.

"Other countries get to support/cheer their athletes and everything is fine. As soon as I support Black American athletes, I get criticized."

White did not immediately respond to ESPN.com's requests for comment. His remarks did not go unnoticed by Mayweather's adviser, Leonard Ellerbe.

"He needs to shut the [expletive] up and mind his own business, stay in his own lane and keep on taking advantage of the UFC fighters, while underpaying them," Ellerbe told Yahoo! Sports Tuesday night. "If he keeps on running his mouth, we may decide to give a free seminar to all of the UFC fighters on how the pay-per-view revenue should be distributed.

"This is typical Dana, who is always prone to ignorant outbursts. He should be the last person to try to judge someone else."

White himself has been accused in the past of making insensitive comments, including an April 2009 incident in which he was criticized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for remarks he made toward then-Sherdog.com reporter Loretta Hunt. White later apologized.

White also called out Mayweather for derogatory statements the boxer directed at WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines.

"The other thing you said was that Manny Pacquiao should make some sushi somewhere," White said. "Sushi is from Japan. He's from the Philippines, dummy."

Despite numerous attempts, Mayweather and Pacquiao have failed to reach an agreement on a bout. Mayweather is moving up a weight class to face WBA junior middleweight titleholder Miguel Cotto on May 5 in Las Vegas. Pacquiao has a June 9 date with WBO junior welterweight champ Timothy Bradley.

Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil

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