Politics and sports have always had a relationship that inspires and sparks conversations on societal norms. Athletes like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing protest of “The Star-Spangled Banner” has spread awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s also given a gentle nudge to other players and sports professionals like Jerry Rice, Cam Newton and now Floyd Mayweather to react with challenging counterarguments.
Mayweather entered the conversation over the weekend during an interview with Tha Boxing Voice. The retired boxer explained his version of the “All Lives Matter” rhetoric by leaning on the idea that civilians are complacent of the law. He also suggested civilians should follow directions and to “think smarter, not harder” in troubling situations.
“I’m here to say all lives matter,” Mayweather said. “You know, a lot of times, we get stuck, and we are followers. When you hear one person say, ‘black lives matter,’ or ‘blue lives matter,’ all lives matter. It’s not right what is going on in this world on both sides. What I learned from boxing and what everyone can take in real life is to follow directions, follow order. Don’t give nobody a hard time.”
Many videos and recounts to the deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and Tamir Rice showed the men and child complying with authorities, only to have their lives cut short.
Conflicting reports reveal between 835 to 899 people have been killed in police-related shooting this year. The Guardian’s interactive tracker has shown up to 203 African-Americans, and 408 white people died this year. The total number is slightly down from last year with a different total of 1136 to 1248 people. From the start, All Lives Matter has been the defense of those who share bias views of the Black Lives Matter movement. Created after the death of teen Trayvon Martin, BLM has called on lawmakers to reform police practices and spread the names and stories of the men, women, children and LGBTQ people of color that have died in police custody with protests. They’ve also rallied behind the shooting of Jeremy Mardis, the autistic white 6-year-old who was shot and killed by a Louisiana officer last year.
Mayweather also shared his thoughts on protesting, especially the actions of Kaepernick. “Kaepernick needs to try and get the starting job,” Mayweather said. “Stand up, and get the starting job. That’s what he needs to focus on. I can’t knock him,” he continued. “If that’s what he believes in and the people stand behind him, so be it. He’s got the number one selling jersey, so it’s obvious he’s doing something right.”