Boxer Adrien Broner suspended for 'racially offensive' diatribe

Boxers Adrien Broner and Carlos Molina face each other during their pre-match weigh-in on 2 May, 2014. Adrien Broner (left) has received an indefinite suspension for racist comments directed at Carlos Molina

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Boxing has long been a sport of spirited taunting.

Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali was a master of the practice, calling one opponent "so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wildlife" and saying he'd beat an opponent so badly "he'll need a shoehorn to put his hat on".

Welterweight boxer Adrien Broner's attempts at such braggadocio after defeating Carlos Molina - an American of Mexican heritage - veered into racist slurs, however.

During a televised post-match interview with Showtime's Jim Gray, Broner - who is black - referred to himself as the "can man" and said: "Anybody can get it. Afri-cans, I just beat the f--k out of a Mexi-can."

Even for boxing this was a line crossed, and on Thursday the World Boxing Council announced Broner had received an indefinite suspension from the sport until he "makes a public apology satisfactory to the public of the world":

Adrien Broner, former WBC lightweight champion, has offended many persons of the world with his words during the interview after the fight v Molina. The World Boxing Council holds human equality as its banner and will not accept a former WBC champion to make racially offensive statements.Since words have different meanings and can be interpreted in different ways, the WBC is issuing this open letter to Adrien Broner to either clarify what he meant with his words or to issue a public apology if those words were intended to be disrespectful and offensive... Boxing is a great sport, it is a world sport, and boxers are honourable and exemplary members of the community. Fair play and human equality must always be upheld.

Start Quote

The fact that Broner employed the word 'Mexican' was presumably too much for the WBC”

End Quote Sean Crose Boxing Insider

Given that professional basketball team owner Donald Sterling was recently suspended for life for making racist statements in a secretly recorded private conversation, the sporting world has become particularly sensitised to offensive language.

"Broner, who has always been a showboat, a kind of Apollo Creed for the Twitter generation, has crossed a line with this recent tirade," writes Classicalite's Drew Jacobs. "Amidst all the news breaking about classless rednecks making stupid comments, a time has come for civility to make a comeback."

Boxing Insider's Sean Crose, disagrees, saying it's ironic that an organisation that governs a sport "where athletes regularly punch each other in the face" is so concerned about a participant's "good manners".

"The fact that Broner employed the word 'Mexican' was presumably too much for the WBC - which itself has a history of raising eyebrows - to stomach," he writes.

He notes that the WBC did not suspend Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2010 for calling Manny Pacquiao "a little yellow chump".

He continues:

We live in an age, of course, where offending certain people - though definitely not all people - is considered taboo. At least in some cases. It depends, actually, on who does the offending. And if the offended party is deemed worth caring about. It's all very advanced and complex, you see. Best to just let the most honourable and brightest among us sort it all out.

Shortly after the Sterling suspension was announced, ESPN's Jason Whitlock warned that the precedent for handing down suspensions for objectionable language means "it won't be long before a parade of athletes joins Sterling on Ignorance Island".

Broner, it seems, has booked his reservations.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    I recall Bernard Hopkins saying before his fight to Joe Calzaghe he'd never lose to a white man. Why was that overlooked then?

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    These guys are so highly trained one punch could brain damage an ordinary mortal.Oft after years of this hard sport damage does manifest it self.Its their choice & many enjoy following it.So they ban a guy for not being PC.Bloody worlds gone mad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    i've heard much much worse than this, Broner's comments weren't that bad. i remember when Hopkins told Calzaghe, 'he wouldn't get beat by a white boy' Hopkins didn't get banned
    Broner was just showing off, thats all, even if it was bad taste, perhaps to fine him his entire purse for the fight would be more appropriate
    LA Clippers owner Sterling, now he's a real racist

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Carlos Molina was born in the USA, so he is of Mexican heritage but isn't a Mexican. I believe he fights for Argentina as his nation.
    So there is a bit of racism here. Nothing huge, just a hint that Mexicans can't be real Americans.

    What Floyd said about Manny was truly disgraceful.

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    Every week there is one debate or another over a faux pas by someone which in itself would hardly go noticed with most just thinking the comments are just of an idiot talking but are elevated out of all proportion by the media . This applies to religion and race and in everyday life make people scared to say certain things for fear of how those comments are construed . Its a sad state of affairs .


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