Well if you've been waiting for the gang from ESPN First Take to weigh in on the Bernard Hopkins vs Donovan McNabb controversy, they did just that.
Stephen Bardo's opening comment kind of sets the tone: "Way out of bounds. What gives Bernard Hopkins the right to define blackness? And who is black enough and who's not? This is a guy I had a tremendous amount of respect for before I heard this."
Bardo ends his comments with, "Now I wanna see his brains get beat in."
Jared Dudley and Skip Bayless are pretty much on the same page. You know it's a serious topic when Skip Bayless drops his character and plays it pretty straight.
But as much as I understand the outrage, and think Bernard's getting what he deserves with the criticism, I think boxing is still mostly just shrugging this off. We take Bernard Hopkins seriously in the ring. Out of the ring, not so much. Bernard's a goon in a lot of ways. You could make a web page simply out of "S**t Bernard Hopkins Says" and it would require a few good scrolls down.
That's not meant to excuse what he said about McNabb, which was tasteless or stupid at best, and the sillier part is, I think it kind of shows a disconnect, as Hopkins was talking about sports in Philadelphia, and being the show next weekend (Bernard musta forgot about the first-place Phillies) and two of the guys he brought up (McNabb and Terrell Owens) don't even play in Philadelphia anymore. Maybe next time he can rip Scott Rolen and Eric Lindros. Really give 'em what's for.
Really, my most serious reaction is this: Bernard Hopkins sounds pretty desperate to get anyone in Philadelphia to care about his fight with Pascal. Whether he's got cred in Philadelphia or not, we all saw his last fight there, in December 2009 against Enrique Ornelas, and nobody showed up. Nobody cared. This is not "boxing is dead" because it isn't, but I think it's fair to say Bernard Hopkins is no live draw. There's a reason he's fighting in Montreal despite what happened in Quebec City.