By Sean Crose
Let’s get something out of the way right here and now – Adrien Broner is a jerk. Look how unsportsmanlike he acted during and after his bout last Saturday with Carlos Molina. Completely inappropriate. Shameful even.
Photo: USA Today
Still, obnoxious as he is, Adrien Broner is not a racist. At least he’s shown no concrete evidence that he is as far as I can tell. Yes, he loudly bragged about besting a “Mexican” the other night, but since when does that make one a racist?
Make no mistake about it – Broner was being his usual extremely rude self when he made the comment. It’s simply inappropriate to identify a person by his or her race or ethnicity during such moments. Yet being inappropriate isn’t the same as being racist. It just isn’t.
A racist is someone who dislikes or feels superior to an entire group of people. That’s it. And Broner hasn’t shown any indication that he feels superior to Mexicans or to any other group, for that matter. Like I said, the guy’s a jerk, but let’s not turn him into Oliver Cromwell.
To make more of the situation than there is can be hyperbolic at best and perhaps even a bit sinister at worst. For Broner is not a likeable man. I’ve spoken with him personally and have come away from the experience distinctly unimpressed. From all I’ve seen and heard from him, Broner is a guy who just doesn’t seem to put much value in being nice. And that’s too bad.
But again, that doesn’t mean he’s racist.
See, it’s only human nature for people to want a guy like Broner to get his just desserts. He practically begs for them, after all. Yet he should stand charged in the court of public opinion for things he’s actually done, not for some straws certain individuals may have grasped at.
The fact is that Mexican fans have every right in the world to be offended by Broner’s words on Saturday. They were taunting and were delivered in a loud, arrogant manner. But Broner is taunting, arrogant and loud towards everyone. Remember, the guy bragged about beating “Africans” before he brought up “Mexicans.”
At his essence, Broner is a talented yet extremely immature individual. One can only hope he grows up before he completely ruins his career with his own big mouth. For, in case you haven’t noticed, writers and analysts have become extremely put off with The Problem as of late.
How long, one may ask, will it be before Showtime (or anyone else) decides to stop showcasing Broner? Jim Gray rightfully put him in his place the other night. Broner should interpret Gray’s words as a warning that people are getting fed up. No one will televise his fights is no one wants to watch him anymore.
If any good comes from all this it may be that The Problem finally learns that the problem is really himself. Bad behavior has consequences, sometimes even unfair ones. What Broner needs to understand is that there’s a price to be paid when one goes through life in the gleefully disrespectful manner he does. Hopefully, he’s getting the point. Then again, it is Broner we’re talking about here – bold and tasteless (but not racist).
Remember that we live in a world where accusations fly freely. All religious people are nut cases. All non-religious people are intolerant. All Democrats hate the Constitution. All Republicans hate the poor. All the people on the coasts are snobs. All the people in flyover country are stupid. In brief, we’ve become a nation where we think the absolute worst of everyone else.
That sort of supremely negative thinking does great harm to society, just as it will do great harm to boxing if fans, writers and analysts let it. So, let’s not let it. Broner is guilty of acting like a punk, no more, no less. Until he provides the world with something else to accuse him of, let’s leave it at that.