It was not so long ago we gave a set of Weasel ears to boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. for shirking responsibility and using the celebrity card to avoid jail time so he can go through with plans for a fight in May. Today, we're adding a Dunce Cap. Why? Because Mayweather put his foot in his mouth on a hot topic having nothing to do with his chosen sport.
By now, I think you've all read that Mayweather tried to play the race card as it relates to the sudden rise of Jeremy Lin, the 2nd year NBA player who has become a phenomenon in New York, playing for the Knicks, who have won 6 in a row with a win last night in Toronto. Yes, Lin is an Asian-American, the first such player to start for an NBA team. Yes, he's from Harvard, which rarely places anyone in the NBA. Shoot, there haven't been many players from an Ivy League school, period, since another Knick, Bill Bradley, a Princeton grad and later a US Senator, starred on 2 championship teams in the early 70's.
What is Mayweather's problem, then? I honestly don't know, and I don't get why he had to throw cold water on the kid. Lin's rise came with 2 veteran stars, Carmelo Anthony & Amar'e Stoudamire, sidelined by injuries. Stoudamire was to return last night vs. Toronto, and Anthony is due later this week. Not only that, but that rise came right around the time the Giants prepared for, and won, the Super Bowl, so there is some momentum carrying over. New York has a new sports hero. Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News wrote the other day that Lin's sudden run of success may lead to the end of the dispute between MSG & Time Warner Cable. While I'm not sure that would be true, it would be a contributing factor if it did happen before the end of the season. In short, Lin has become the savior the Knicks had been waiting for, even if it's in the short term.
For the Asian community, Lin's success comes at a perfect time, as well. Yao Ming retired after injuries had limited his availability for the Houston Rockets the last few years, cutting short a successful career here in the US. Ming is back in China, and I believe is involved in the sport in a different capacity these days. I believe he would be very happy seeing the success Lin is enjoying. The New York press, of course, has fallen in love with Lin, but it's a matter of time before they turn on him when his hot streak runs out.
So, again, where does "Money" Mayweather get off playing the race card? Lin is the kind of role model that Mayweather only wishes he could be, and it bothers him. Face it, dude, you made your bed, now lie in it, and take the Dunce Cap with you.