Bernard Hopkins Questions Donovan McNabb's Blackness

Clearly Hopkins has taken one too many hits to the dome.

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Boxing legend Bernard Hopkins attacks Donovan McNabb. (Getty)

Instead of focusing on redeeming himself in his rematch against Jean Pascal in Montreal for the WBC and the Ring magazine light-heavyweight championship on May 21, legendary boxer Bernard Hopkins chose to talk trash about Donovan McNabb during press day at his gym.

Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that according to Hopkins, McNabb had a privileged childhood in suburban Chicago and, as a result, is not black enough or tough enough, at least compared with, say, himself, Michael Vick and Terrell Owens.

"Forget this," Hopkins said, pointing to his own dark skin. "He's got a suntan. That's all."

Hopkins also implied that, while Vick and Owens remained true to their roots, McNabb did not, and was rudely awakened when the Eagles traded him to the Redskins last year. "Why do you think McNabb felt he was betrayed? Because McNabb is the guy in the house, while everybody else is on the field. He's the one who got the extra coat. The extra servings. 'You're our boy,' " Hopkins said, patting a reporter on the back in illustration. "He thought he was one of them."

Replace "guy in the house" with "slave in the house," then replace "on the field" with "in the field," and Hopkins' message is Uncle Tom-clear.

McNabb's publicist, Rich Burg, said that his client would have no comment.

That's a good thing, because black folks attacking each other's blackness in public or private is played out. It is so interesting that folks like Hopkins have such a narrow definition of blackness. Growing up in the hood doesn't make you any blacker than a black person who grew up in the suburbs or in a wealthy neighborhood.

As my mother says, you're black every day, no matter where you are in the world. There is not one black experience -- there are many. We are a diverse group of people worldwide, so this continued dialogue about who is really black must stop. McNabb may not be "blacker" than Hopkins by Hopkins' limited definition, but he's got more class than the boxer by not even engaging in this argument, which is sheer and utter foolishness. Memo to Hopkins: Focus on definitively winning your fight in the ring against Pascal and less on starting fights outside the ring that cannot be won.

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