Late last night, we posted an embedded, original, unedited video from Elie Seckbach and FanHouse, which showcased boxers Antonio Margarito and Brandon Rios, along with their trainer and ex-fighter Robert Garcia, making fun of Freddie Roach's Parkinson's disease.
Shortly after our post went up, that video was pulled. An edited version was found, with it depicting Margarito as pretending to be Roach, "scared" and trembling. Rios' "performance," however, was entirely removed from the video. Today, the edited video has also been removed.
I don't find it surprising that the videos were pulled. It's about what I expected. I was surprised that the original was pulled so quickly after it started blowing up with backlash, but when that happened, I expected this to happen today with the edited version. Someone is trying to run away from this and get it to go away. I don't know who made the call to edit the original, nor do I know who made the call to pull both videos. No idea if there was pressure from Margarito's camp or Top Rank to do so. I also wonder what was expected of reaction to these videos -- could it have been anything else? Why upload that segment at all? Someone, anyone, had to know what the reaction was going to be.
But to steal the line, as Joe Rogan says, you can't stop the internet. Someone had already re-uploaded the original video, which you can see below:
Update (5:10pm EST): The video linked below was taken down due to a copyright claim. Deadspin currently is hosting the video, though, if you still haven't seen it.
There it is, in all its glory and splendor. Three men acting like crass 12 year olds. Perhaps it's just ignorance. Perhaps we should treat three grown men as if they "don't know any better." After all, if a nine year old child makes fun of someone in a wheelchair, but has never encountered that or never been taught differently, is it really the child's fault? Shouldn't you just teach them about it?
So let's make it easy for Garcia, Margarito and Rios. Here's the Wikipedia article on Parkinson's disease. They might want to read up at Parkinsons.org, as well. Maybe after this, they will understand why people think it's so shameful and disgusting that this is the level anyone would stoop to. Not to mention the fact that all of thm, having been in the ring, should probably have some sort of respect for the fact that they're always at risk for something like this happening to them, too. Or maybe next time any of them see Muhammad Ali, they could offer him their funny impressions of Roach, too.
Oh, and if anyone wants to excuse this as "promoting the fight," sorry, but that's a little beneath me and I hope a lot of people. It should be. That doesn't make me smug or an elitist or anything like that. It makes this idiocy too idiotic even for me.
But am I surprised? Nah, I just find it pathetic. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports addressed the situation this afternoon, and he said it very well:
It’s disgusting, but that’s par for the course these days with Margarito. You can’t expect a dog to have table manners and, apparently, you can’t expect Margarito to act with class.
And to put it another way, no matter how many videos get pulled, you can't put the s*** back in the donkey.