SLAIN CHAMPION: Former boxing champ Vernon Forrest was gunned down on July 26 following a failed carjacking attempt.Â The lack of noticeable outrage following Forrestâ€™s death, the third involving a boxer in less than a month, has prompted some to thing that such tragedies have become treated as commonplace in the mainstream.
The Spit Bucket
Remembering Vernon Forrest
Accepting The Unacceptable
The sport of boxing has frequently been thrust into the spotlight for a lot of the wrong reasons, and the recent death of former four time world champion Vernon ‘The Viper’ Forrest has cast another dark cloud over the sport and Black society in general.
As news spread like wild fire that Forrest had been shot and killed at a gas station in Atlanta last weekend, a sinking and sickening feeling just totally engulfed me.
Forrest death did not create the media attention that boxer Arturo Gatti ‘s death did or that of former NFL quarterback Steve McNair or former great Alexis Arguello, but it certainly should have.
If not among the white media establishments such as ESPN and many others than certainly in the African America community.
Here was a 38-year old man pulling into a gas station to pump some air into his tires on his car and some thug comes along and demands his wallet and when he refuses he is pumped with bullets as his young godson who was with him is out of view.
I spoke to a number of people about this including legendary boxing promoter Don King and they all suggested that perhaps Forrest should have just given the criminal his wallet.
Their mere suggestion that a hard working American when confronted by the threat of violence by one who figures that he is entitled to it because of his desperate desire to rob or steal speaks volumes into the Black culture and just how far down the scale we have gone.
In other ethnic groups they are applauded and saluted for their achievement to become successful.
In the Black culture instead of being celebrated and applauded for working your way out of an abyss, you are haunted by someone of your own skin color who I imagine figures by the mere color of your skin you owe them a piece of it.
It is common knowledge among many Blacks that wealthy NBA players, NFL players, and primarily anyone who escaped from the doldrums of the strife of urban living has a bull’s-eye on their head by someone who has nothing to lose.
Forrest was at the tail end of an illustrious boxing career that was marred by physical injuries where he could not fight for three years because of a bum shoulder that required surgery.
He beat Shane Mosley twice and was a native of Augusta, GA near Atlanta where he was killed.
If you can’t be safe in a town where you would assume that everyone knows you then where can you be safe?
I met Forrest, but barely knew him personally by my longtime mentor and friend Charles ‘Sam’ Watson was his manager and always spoke glowing about him.
He only lost three times in 44 fights and last fought against Sergio Mora in September 2009.
I was ringside when he lost twice to Ricardo Mayorga, both defeats and one a third round knockout that put Mayorga on the boxing map and then again by majority decision.
His promoter Gary Shaw says he was in discussions to arrange a fight for Forrest later this year and he was expected to begin training on Aug. 1.
Now, he will be buried instead. To say that this is a senseless shame is a gross understatement and because we as a culture have become so adjusted to such ignorance there is any major protest.
A guys rips a gun out on you demands your wallet, guns you down and taxpayers make sure that he gets three meals a day and abed for the rest of his useless life?
What has this world come to? What has our world come to? What has your world come to?
Be careful what you come to expect as some damn culture or norm, because you may be the next victim of it…
Vernon Forrest went down fighting the only fight he could not win.