I tried to keep my mouth shut for the better part of the past three years, because Bernard Hopkins is a native Philadelphian and I've tried relentlessly to support him. He also seems like the kind of guy who would find and annihilate me if I wrote something negative about him.
But when someone speaks publicly with the ignorance, carelessness, and classlessness the way that Hopkins has, I can only stay mum for so long. The fact is this: When he opens his mouth, Bernard Hopkins is a fucking disgrace.
Yesterday, while in Philadelphia for his fight against Jean Pascal on May 21st, Hopkins took another opportunity to rip former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb for absolutely no reason. In the past, Hopkins has questioned McNabb's ability and his heart when it came to the game of football. This time, he went completely overboard, implying that the quarterback isn't black enough.
"Forget this," Hopkins said, pointing to his own dark skin. "He's got a suntan. That's all."
Um…no. That's not all. (Is it ever?) Marcus Hayes' piece for the Daily News insinuated that no one had ever asked about McNabb during Hopkins' media-invited training session. Instead, someone asked about Michael Vick and Hopkins took the opportunity to connect the dots back to the former Birds quarterback. Hayes elaborates further:
Yesterday, unprovoked, Hopkins fired again and again, using as ammunition McNabb's 2007 interview with HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," in which McNabb addressed the problems for black quarterbacks in the NFL.
"He goes on HBO and talks about [being] black. He was right, but it was the wrong messenger. He was right, but [he doesn't] represent that," Hopkins said. "The only reason he spoke was because he felt betrayed: 'I thought I was one of y'all's guys. I thought I was the good one. Y'all told me this.'
First of all, if it's not abundantly clear here, Hopkins is compeltely out of line and his remarks are unjustified and partially inaccurate. If you read the entire piece from Hayes, you'll see that "Hopkins' time line is a bit skewed, since the Eagles traded McNabb three seasons after the HBO interview". People, the fucking interview was four years ago! McNabb was traded last April, and this moron is still ripping him when no one is even talking or asking about him.
That leads to this question, B-Hop… why the fuck do you care so much about Donovan McNabb? He hasn't done anything to you. He hasn't provoked you. He had "no comment" about what you said yesterday. (Although I kinda wish he had made a comment that sounded a whole lot like "Fuck off.") So what the hell is your problem?
Hrmmm… well maybe it's this. This following excerpt is a piece from the Moving the Chains blog on June 25, 2009. The day before this was written, Hopkins appeared with Howard Eskin and Ike Reese on WIP. As Hopkins was making negative comments about McNabb for the third time, Eskin confronted him about why he thought the comments were being made in the first place.
Per Eskin, Hopkins once went to an Eagles practice, and while McNabb said hello to the ex-middleweight champ, Hopkins felt like the Birds' QB blew him off a little bit and has held a grudge ever since.
Hopkins denied Eskin's theory, but when he recalled the situation, it certainly sounded like McNabb rubbed him the wrong way when they crossed paths.
"When I did go to the NovaCare Center with my team, was he like everybody else? Like the rest of the players? Was he giving us respect, giving everybody respect, my trainer, myself and all that, just coming over, sign this, sign that or whatever? No, he sort of ran into a little room and locked the door and came out every now and then to peak his head out to see if we left yet," Hopkins said. "But that just tells you he's not a social guy."
Okay B-Hop… so the guy didn't hold a 20-minute conversation with you when you visited NovaCare and you're still upset? Who the hell cares? It doesn't mean he doesn't respect you. Thus the blatant disrespect that you have shown him publicly, which reached a whole new and painfully ridiculous level yesterday, is a crock of shit.
He can deny Eskin's theory all he wants but after three years of failing to keep Donovan McNabb's name out of his mouth, it's more than clear that he's bitter about something. So at this point, he should just be honest about what exactly that is or he should leave McNabb alone for good.
All that comes out of this is the fact that B-Hop looks like a jackass (again). And he hasn't limited his ignorance and big mouth to all things Donovan-related. He said this about Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather back in November as the two tried to agree to a fight.
"Floyd Mayweather would beat Manny Pacquiao because the styles that African-American fighters — and I mean, black fighters from the streets or the inner cities — would be successful," said Hopkins, according to Fanhouse.com. "I think Floyd Mayweather would pot-shot Pacquiao and bust him up in between the four-to-five punches that Pacquiao throws and then set him up later on down the line."
That's odd, then why is it practically consensus that Mayweather is ducking the opportunity to fight Pacquiao? Maybe Mayweather isn't so sure that the zero in his loss column will be there after 12 rounds? Pacquiao doesn't seem scared at all. In fact, B-Hop, why don't you just fight him instead?
I'm not done, either.
How about the Jean Pascal rematch on May 21st… the first time the two met in December, it was ruled a draw. However just or unjust it was doesn't matter when you consider what Hopkins shared with the media yesterday. Marcus Hayes, the floor is yours once again.
Hopkins also revealed that, after their news conference in Montreal in March, in which the pair scuffled a bit, Hopkins did not return the belts after Pascal jokingly handed them to him during the media sessions. Hopkins said he brought them back through customs and they are in his Center City condominium; he looks at them every morning when he rises to train.
Wait… B-Hop took his belts? Bernard Hopkins took belts home with him that he didn't win? An act like that is fraudulent and classless. Pascal's smug factor is partially to blame, too, but Hopkins is in possession of two titles he did not earn, which is sickening considering the fantastic career he has had where he has earned so many others the honest way.
I used to respect Bernard Hopkins. I was proud of him as a fighter, I was honored that he is a native Philadelphian, and I enjoyed watching his work. Having said that, I enjoy nothing about the way he has carried himself in recent years. He is putting an ugly mark on a once-spectacular reputation. A boxer communicates best with his gloves and with his talent.
The recent actions of Bernard Hopkins outside of the ring have involved neither of those things…
…and it's a fucking shame.