Boxing news: Anthony Joshua joins Raheem Sterling in fight against racist fans
Anthony Joshua says he’d rather work with and support victims of racism than waste time trying to educate the bigots who dish it out in the first place.
Britain’s world heavyweight champion was speaking about drug cheats in boxing when he compared the issue to racism.
Joshua, who makes his US debut against Andy Ruiz Jr at New York's Madison Square Garden on June 1, said: “It’s not taken seriously by those in charge. Like racism in football. That’s happening, but not taken so seriously.”
Asked what he’d do to combat the issue of racism in boxing and sport in general, he went on: “Racism is always going to happen. From black people to whites, white people to blacks, from this race to Asians, to religion, Muslims fighting Jews. In some form or shape there is always going to be segregation.
“But, in terms of helping to fight, I just think people should be a bit more respectful about what they say. You can’t be chanting monkey noises, that’s a zero level of respect, so there has to be some sort of outcome.
“But, rather than trying to tackle the racists, what I would rather do with people in that situation is help the people who are being attacked. Ten strong guys are better than 100 weak guys.
“So as long as you are strong on the inside and you know yourself and know who you are, it doesn’t matter what’s happening out there. I can’t control these people – that’s down to governing bodies and they should be made to feel a bit more fearful when they act in certain ways.
“But I would rather stand beside these guys who are being subjected to racism and let them know they have my support, so they can educate themselves.
“Racism is a lack of education. Stupidity. I’d rather stand by the people who are going through it, so when people are being disrespectful, it bounces off them – it’s like water off a duck’s back.
“If you’re not educated in that sense, you start believing what people are saying about you.
“I would rather help educate people and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them, and let the ones who feel that’s the way to express themselves to continue doing it, if that’s what they want to do.”
Manchester City and England footballer Raheem Sterling called on the media to do more – much more – when he was the subject of abuse during a game against Chelsea in December.
Joshua added: “Raheem can’t make anything change with what he’s doing, but what he can do is strengthen himself.
“When he talks, he educates people. He says, ‘This is who we are’ – and then you enlighten people.”
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