On March 15, 2014 George Zimmerman is scheduled to fight rapper DMX (Earl Simmons) in a 'celebrity' boxing match on pay per view. Zimmerman's claim to fame is having shot and killed 17 year-old Trayvon Martin. While Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and man slaughter charges in July 2013, this fight is disrespectful to the memory of Trayvon Martin and his family. Zimmerman's main defense for the trial was that he [Zimmerman] feared for his life and acted in self defense. However, in recent discussion regarding the pending boxing match, Zimmerman stated the following: "Prior to the incident, I was actually going to the gym for weight loss and doing boxing-type training for weight loss." He further noted that, "Boxing isn't new to me. It's something I had picked up well before the incident and it's something that I liked, I enjoyed, and I kept up with it..." Why would someone carrying a gun that was not new to boxing and had experience in "boxing-type training" be afraid for his life?
Damon Feldman is a promoter known for his promotion of circus-like fights where (pseudo)celebrities take the ring. Feldman is responsible for promoting a number of ‘celebrity’ boxing matches, including fights between Danny Bonaduce and Jose Canseco, Tonya Harding and a female boxer, etc. But this fight is different. The background of the pseudo-celebrity involved is an extremely painful reality for the Martin family (and all of us who feel Trayvon Martin was murdered).
Should the fight happen, the proceeds allegedly will be used to support a charity. An opportunity to support a charity is commendable - under different circumstances. All money is not good money, and I encourage this charity to remove itself from association with Zimmerman and this boxing match.
I hope no cable PPV network will air this fight should it proceed as planned. The power of the media to make change is inevitable. If a network chooses to air this fight, the message sent to people all across the United States and the world is that there’s a price to be put on a life, a Black life.
I also encourage DMX and any other celebrity who has considered participating in this fight to decline the offer. Many people in this country feel that there has been no justice for Trayvon Martin’s death, but this fight would not be justice. Justice would not allow Zimmerman to profit, in any way, from his status as the shooter of an unarmed Black male. CELEBRITIES, you have a voice. Use it to stop this fight from happening. We non-celebrities have a voice. USE YOUR VOICE TO STOP/NOT SUPPORT THIS FIGHT.
Respect the memory of Trayvon Martin, today and always.
Damon Feldman's Twitter: @hollywoodbox11
George Zimmerman's Twitter: @TheRealGeorgeZ
DMX (Earl Simmons) Twitter: @DMX