Earlier this week, Philadelphia Celebrity Boxing promoter Damon Feldman told us that George Zimmerman would be coming to Philadelphia next week. The purpose: to take part in a press conference for the upcoming boxing match pitting Trayvon Martin’s killer against troubled rap star DMX. But on Friday morning, facing a torrent of outrage, Feldman said that Zimmerman wouldn’t be appearing as scheduled.
“There’s not going to be any press conference [next week] due to all the controversy,” explains Feldman (left), suggesting that a press conference may happen two days before the event instead. (Feldman later clarified that there would be a press conference next week, but that Zimmerman wouldn’t be at it.) But Feldman says that the Zimmerman-DMX boxing match will happen on March 15th as planned, regardless of the growing opposition to it. He has not announced a location for the fight.
The White House petition to stop the fight had just over 4,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon. As of Friday morning, that number had grown to 22,000. (Any White House petition with 100,000 or more signatures requires a response from the White House.) A Change.org petition boasts over 73,000 signatures.
Meanwhile, the Facebook page "Cancel George Zimmerman's 'Celebrity' Boxing Match" had over 230,000 "likes" as of Friday morning. "I just think it is ridiculous that this man has celebrity status based on murdering a teenager," says Facebook group member Lisa, a mother of three who lives in suburban Philadelphia. "I'm against it because I think it's ridiculous for a cold-blooded killer to have the opportunity to make more money off of a senseless murder of a young teenager," says Koko, another group member.
"When was the last black guy who killed a white kid given a celebrity boxing reward?" asks attorney-activist Michael Coard, a Philadelphia magazine contributor. "Let me get this straight: An unarmed black kid who was committing no crime gets shot and killed and now the half-white (non-black) killer gets fortune and fame? Think about what kind of precedent that sets! Think about how that could entice future Zimmermans to kill future Trayvons. The only fight Zimmerman should be having is the one with Bubba in a state prison cell."
But Feldman won't budge. "I'm not quitting this," he insists. "People want me to quit. I would never do that. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. It's entertainment, man."
Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.