By Ezra McCann, Senior Account Executive
Boxer Floyd Mayweather is receiving a lot of flack from the media for a tweet he sent referencing New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin. Lin is an Asian-American that has captivated the nation during the past week for his sensational play on the basketball court. Lin is a graduate of Harvard. He went undrafted and has been cut from two NBA teams in the past two seasons. He finally got his shot with the Knicks due to the absence of their two best players and he has taken full advantage of it. He is the first player in NBA history to have at least 20 points and seven assists in each of his first four career starts, while leading the Knicks to five straight victories in the process.
Monday afternoon Mayweather 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.”
Last month in my entitled “Don’t Press Send,” I wrote that you should always think about the reactions and consequences you will receive before posting on social media sites. This is one of those instances where “Don’t Press Send” would have applied. Knowing his personality, I’m sure he knew exactly what he was doing when he sent out the tweet. It was a chance for him to gain a little publicity and give himself some media attention as he gears up for his next fight in May. He linked himself to the hottest topic going in sports. He also probably knew he would spark some debate on race and how the media covers sports. That said, Twitter is not always the best place to air your displeasure on a controversial topic.
Personally, I don’t agree with his opinion and I think he’s completely off base. Though race may be a factor in the media coverage Lin’s receiving, considering he is the first Asian-American to play in the NBA, it’s not the only reason he’s getting this attention. We live in a society where the underdog is coveted. We love to hear the stories of Muggsy Bogues, or Tom Brady (yes he was an underdog at one time), or the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” US Hockey Team. Jeremy Lin’s story is on the same level. Here’s a kid that has come from nowhere and has taken full advantage of an opportunity given to him. That’s what “Linsanity” is all about. Mayweather’s tweet diminishes
Tweeting about controversial topics like this one can only bring negativity to your brand. This is an issue that will bring undesirable attention from fans and the media. A controversial issue like this could cause sponsors to shy away from being connected with him as well as cost him future endorsement dollars. Odds are he’ll most likely be fine, considering “Money Mayweather” is known for saying outlandish things publically. But for the people out there building their brand, it’s probably best to stay away from controversy. Once again for those that didn’t catch it the last time, “Don’t Press Send”