A Facebook user’s post bringing racism into the ring has irked boxing sponsor Brian Wysoke‚ who has described it as “distasteful”. Boxing South Africa has also rejected the self-professed fan’s sentiment as “undesirable”.
In the Facebook post‚ which has since been deleted and which TMG Digital has seen a screen grab of‚ Martin Mutombo‚ the Facebook user‚ said: “ If you think about it‚ boxing ring is the only place you can kill whites legal…” (sic).
“That is blatant racism. It’s in poor taste especially after someone really died in a boxing ring on Saturday morning‚” Wysoke said.
He said the boxer‚ Herbert Nkabiti‚ died in hospital on Saturday morning after being knocked down during a fight on Friday night in Carnival City.
The context for the comment was unclear. Mutombo could not be reached for comment by the time of publication.
Wysoke said he and Mutombo are not friends on Facebook‚ but had seen his post through a friend‚ who forwarded it to him.
Boxing SA Chief Executive Tsholo Lejake said the organisation was not aware of the incident. However‚ he said: “Any statement that seeks to suggest that there is a place for racism in any sport‚ is misled and undesirable.”
Wysoke said people with Mutombo’s views were not needed in South Africa as the country is still trying to break racial barriers. The sport of boxing had a good track record in this regard.
“Boxing was the first sport that broke down racial barriers. I haven’t got one white boxer that I sponsor and for someone to make such a remark is not on‚” he said.
Wysoke said‚ however‚ that he did not intend to pursue the matter.
“I have decided not to do anything about the post because it will just spark more racial hatred. I don’t waste my time on nonsense. I’d rather do something productive.
“What I would like to do is to meet him face to face and ask him how he dare post something like this and he is not even a South African.”
In his profile‚ Mutombo listed a number of South African companies specialising in clothing that he has worked for.
On Monday‚ Mutombo shared a boxing website’s report of the tragic Nkabiti fight against Willis Baloyi.
At the weekend‚ he also joined fans around the world in commenting on the heavyweight clash between champion Anthony Joshua‚ against Wladimir Klitschko before 90‚000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium.