Muller: Zimmerman boxing match a shameful spectacle


Yoni Muller, Columnist

Last Wednesday, George Zimmerman returned to the news when we heard he was going to fight rapper DMX in a pay-per-view event. The event was being orchestrated by promoter Damon Feldman, the architect behind the show Celebrity Boxing. Since then, multiple death threats, rumors regarding cancellation and contract negotiations have resulted in an uncertain future for the event.

However, this fight never should even have been a remote possibility. In order to get to contract talks and death threats, somewhere along the line, Feldman must have thought to himself that this was a good idea. Somewhere along the line, Zimmerman must have thought this was a good idea. Somewhere along the line, DMX must have agreed to fight him in front of a national audience.

None of these things should have happened. Never should an event even hinting at the idea that Zimmerman might be a “celebrity” be considered. Never should a man who stole the nation’s attention by killing a teenage boy get to commit violence again for profit.

This, of course, has nothing to do with Zimmerman’s trial. I, and many others, agree with the court’s ruling. We can’t be sure of what happened that night and to what extent Zimmerman felt threatened; putting someone away for life shouldn’t stem from that much uncertainty.

And though we don’t know if he truly acted in self-defense, there are things we do know. We know that Zimmerman saw a kid with a hoodie and felt that it was appropriate to approach and harass him. We know that he confronted Trayvon Martin after the police told him not to. And while we don’t know the exact events that happened after that confrontation, we know they ended in Zimmerman shooting and killing an unarmed 17-year-old.

In no context should those actions be celebrated; in no context should the perpetrator of those actions be considered a celebrity. Yet a pay-per-view boxing event does exactly that. Such an event will put Zimmerman in the company of other celebrity boxers, including Todd Bridges, Dustin Diamond and Vanilla Ice. The Zimmerman fight is nothing more than an insulting money-grab, and if it ever is realized, absolutely nobody should see it.

On the one hand, I understand the appeal. Everyone wants to see someone they don’t like get beat up, and George Zimmerman is not a particularly well-liked person at this point in his life. After his $100,000 paintings and his domestic violence charges followed the most emotional and controversial case in a while, I’m sure millions of people would like to see him get pummeled. Besides, at least some of the money will go to charity, and there’s nothing wrong with helping good people and organizations in need. I would be a hypocrite if I said that there was no part of me — not even a small, primal bit of my subconscious — that didn’t want to see someone go to town on George Zimmerman.

But that doesn’t mean I should watch; that doesn’t mean anyone should watch. Somewhere out there is a family who should have just celebrated Trayvon’s 19th birthday. Somewhere out there is a teenager who is still hyperconscious of how he needs to dress and appear to avoid any confrontation. Yet nowhere out there is Trayvon, and, whether justified or not, that is Zimmerman’s doing.

As of this writing, it looks like Feldman rescinded his cancellation threats, and that the event will still be held. If this is the case, do not watch it. Do not go over to a friend’s house if they paid for it to watch it with them. Do not look for free clips on YouTube after the fight. Do nothing to promote this offensive and shameless publicity stunt that will only help line the pockets of Zimmerman and Feldman.

Instead, let Zimmerman go back to where he belongs: obscurity.

 Yoni Muller is a Weinberg junior. He can be reached at [email protected]. If you would like to respond publicly to this column, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected].