The legendary boxing promoter says that he feels the demonstrators’ pain.
A man for who 80 years has claimed that he’s “for the people” is showing his support of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.
As a native of poverty-stricken Cleveland, Ohio, Don King says he’s glad that the American people are “confronting, discussing and debating” issues, and if anyone thinks that as a multimillionaire he doesn’t care about poor people, they’re wrong.
“First of all, their concept would be absolutely erroneous because I feel their pain. I empathize, sympathize and commiserate with them,” King told BET.com.
At a press conference on Wednesday, King announced that he feels that pain so much that he wants to bring boxing back to the masses.
In his new partnership with WealthTV, the Nov. 5 WBA cruiserweight title fight between champion Guillermo Jones and Mike Marrone at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, will be broadcast for free on the seven-year-old lifestyle and entertainment network that is available in about 10 million homes, primarily through Verizon Fios and AT&T U-verse cable systems. King says that he wants to make boxing available to “all people” again.
More than promoting fights, however, he says that he’s also dedicated to a fight for more jobs.
“When you say unemployment is 9.5 percent across the nation, it’s 50 percent for Blacks in Detroit,” King says. “What [occupy protestors] are doing now is the first road of unanimity — coming together, working together, praying together, demonstrating together. It was so important that the First Amendment of this great United States is the right to protest and demonstrate freedom of speech, so go ahead and do it.”
King adds that speaking out is better than using clubs, guns or knives.
Most of all, Don King says he supports the movement because, at one point, poverty affected him too.
“Don King was poor, underprivileged, downtrodden. I just refused to accept the mantle of poor and poverty, so I fought to make it,” he says. “And you can make it too.”
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(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)