File this news under Things That Should Not Be: rapper DMX will apparently be fighting George Zimmerman in an upcoming celebrity boxing match -- assuming he gets paid enough. Excuse me: "celebrity" boxing match. You'll just have to imagine me doing exaggerated air quotes around that word, because really? George Zimmerman, the guy acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the guy who's had seven police incidents since 2005 including domestic disputes and restraining orders, is considered a CELEBRITY? And frankly, DMX isn't much better, what with his arrests for animal cruelty, reckless driving, unlicensed driving, drug possession, and identity falsification.
Boxing promoter Damon Feldman admits the obvious, which is that he's "just in this to make money," but does the world really want to see such a matchup? If a recent White House petition is any proof, the answer is a rounding HELL NO.
Apparently DMX was selected out of 15,000 applicants after George Zimmerman issued the open challenge to fight anyone willing to take him. Promoter Zeldman managed to make the announcement on the eve of what would have been Trayvon Martin's 19th birthday (which he said was unintentional), and he says he's taking the backlash in stride:
My events are always surrounded by controversy. That’s what Celebrity Boxing is about. I’m in business. This is all just business for me. I don’t know Zimmerman other than talking to him seven times. (…) I don’t like him, and I don’t hate him. And hey, if he gets beat up, I gave the country justice.
As for DMX, he seems to be enjoying the opportunity to hype the event with some trash talk about Zimmerman:
I am going to beat the living f**k out him … I am breaking every rule in boxing to make sure I f**k him right up.
If you're wondering how in hell ANYONE would agree to participate in this disgusting, exploitive trainwreck, the LA Times rather accurately describes DMX's decision as "another low in what's been a spectacular nosedive for (his) career." They go on to pose a number of rhetorical questions for the rapper, such as "Why?" and "Seriously, dude, why?" -- along with more serious points:
Has anyone on your team mentioned how much of a mockery you’re making of Martin’s death by engaging in this spectacle? Have you thought about the additional layer of grief this adds to Trayvon’s family and friends, considering this mess has unfolded on his birthday? How does this benefit you in any way other than financially? Where were you in the aftermath of Martin's shooting and during the trial, when your peers in the music industry were showing up to rallies and writing lyrics in protest?
The White House petition against the fight, titled "Celebrity Boxing Promoter Damon Feldman & George Zimmerman are attempting to promote and profit off of racial tensions in America," currently has over 14,000 signatures. It doesn't seem terribly likely that it will hit its goal of 100,000, but perhaps we the people can make our preferences known by NOT choosing to watch the fight via Internet pay-per-view, which is how it will be broadcast.
I don't even know what to say about this, except it's a gross spectacle and everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves. It'd be nice if the match ended up getting canceled, but failing that, I tend to agree with the idea floated by this Chelsea Lately writer:
They should send Floyd Mayweather to the ring and tell George Zimmerman it's DMX. He won't know the difference.— Ian Karmel (@IanKarmel) February 5, 2014
What do you think about George Zimmerman doing a celebrity boxing match?
Image via Flickr