Mayweather tweeted earlier this month: “Jeremy 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.”
“Do I regret what I said? Absolutely not,” Mayweather said at the Apollo Theater Tuesday. “I stand by what I said, and I meant what I said.”
The unbeaten boxer spoke at a press conference to promote his May 5 fight against Miguel Cotto.
Lin’s popularity has skyrocketed since emerging from the Knicks’ bench on Feb. 4. As the NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese decent, the Palo Alto High School product’s improbable saga has touched basketball fans across the globe.
“The media always take your words and screw ’em up,” said Mayweather. “They failed to say that I said the guy was a good player.”
Amid heavy criticism, the 35-year-old wouldn’t back down in a series of tweets on Feb. 13.
The controversy prompted UFC president Dana White to call Mayweather a “knucklehead” last week for posts he described as “racist.”
“It’s OK for Miguel Cotto to represent the Puerto Rican fans and represent the Puerto Rican flag,” said Mayweather. “I’m a black American. I believe in supporting my own first. That’s where I come from. … That’s what I’m going to stand by.
“It’s so crazy. I’m not racist at all. I have Jewish people that work for me. Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, white people who work for me.”
Mayweather also said he doesn’t publish his own tweets, though that doesn’t mean the boxer isn’t responsible for the content.
“It’s a secret, but it’s not me,” he admitted. “I’ve got more than one person who works on my Twitter page. But did I tell them what to tweet? Yes I did.”
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)