MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten American boxer Floyd Mayweather is not backing off the comments he made regarding New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, but denied that he is a racist.
Last month, Mayweather made headlines anew after tweeting that Lin "is a good player but all the hype is because he's Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don't get the same praise."
Lin, a Taiwanese-American player who went undrafted out of Harvard, led the Knicks to a seven-game winning streak and launched "Linsanity." In their most recent game, he tallied 19 points and 13 assists to help the Knicks rally past the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mayweather drew flak for his tweet, with Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White telling him, "Yes, Floyd, you're racist."
But during a press conference promoting his May 5 fight against Miguel Cotto, the unbeaten fighter refused to take back his comment.
"Things happen, and you know, do I regret what I said? Absolutely not. I stand by what I said and I meant what I said," Mayweather said, as quoted by Boxing Scene.
But he claimed that the media overlooked his praise of Lin.
"They failed to put that in there, when I said Jeremy Lin was a good player," Mayweather said. "I don't have no hard feelings towards Jeremy Lin. Like I said before, when I said he was a good player, they failed to put that in any story that they was writing."
He also denied that he was a racist.
"I'm not racist at all. Jewish people work for me, Dominican, Mexican, white people," Mayweather said, adding that one of his best friends was white.
"I'm a black American. I believe and support my own first. Only they can feel my struggle, if they come from the same background I come from."
Mayweather also pointed out that Lin struggled in the Knicks’ loss to the Miami Heat prior to the All-Star break.
"I said Jeremy Lin was a good player. And you know, go back and look at when he played against the Miami Heat," he said, referring to Lin's eight-point, three-assist performance.
Mayweather has also been criticized in the past for making racist comments about his rival, Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.