Floyd Mayweather's abrasive, offensive Ustream rant had many wondering if the flashy boxer would lose sponsors for flapping his gums, deriding Manny Pacquiao as a "midget," and mining stereotypes for unfunny jokes. Mayweather's apology might not get him out of hot water.
"I do want to apologize for what happened the other night. I want to apologize to everybody because everybody thought that it was a racist comment that I said. I don't have a racist bone in my body. I have nothing but love for everybody.
"Some of my guys are Muslim, some of my guys are Jews. Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, whites . . . it doesn't matter. I got nothing but love in my heart. All I want to say is, if anybody was affected from what I said the other day, I apologize as a man. I was just having fun. I didn't really mean it."
That is not a particularly good apology.
Mayweather can say that he "didn't really mean it" as much as he wants; it won't change that it was offensive to people. The expectation among boxing fans is that trash talk is part of the game, and Mayweather clearly wanted to meet that expectation. But he took it way too far, revealing himself not as a charismatic, swaggering pugilist, but a failed comic working with tired material.
And Mayweather's apology barely qualifies as one. "I want to apologize to everybody because everybody thought" doesn't quite amount to "I'm sorry for what I said," and "if anybody was affected" implies that he's only apologizing because offense was taken.
Mayweather may profess to not have a racist bone in his body, and to have friends of different creeds and races, but this is the sort of apology that seems orchestrated, forced, and publicist-approved, one that sets BS detectors buzzing. Mayweather talking to a camera in the comfort of his home seems more authentic, especially in an era of increased openness for athletes who have used that medium to personally connect with fans.
In that moment, he certainly didn't sound like a man with "nothing but love" in his heart. And with this apology, he doesn't sound like a man who understands that he can't say one incendiary thing one day and "not really mean it" when the blowback hits.