UPDATE: 2/8/14, 5:41 p.m.:
The proposed “Celebrity Boxing Match” between George Zimmerman and DMX set to take place in March has been cancelled. Get the details here.
Since news broke that a Celebrity Boxing Match between George Zimmerman and DMX was set for March 15, social media went ablaze with a myriad of emotions.
Some who felt Zimmerman got away with murder were excited about the prospect of seeing the aging New York rapper beat down the 30-year-old Florida man. Though some were repulsed by the thought that anyone would want to profit from the death of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old boy Zimmerman shot dead in his Sanford, Fla., neighborhood back in February of 2012.
But Janet Dickerson didn’t just react emotionally; she got organized. Five days ago when she caught word that Damon Feldman was looking for an opponent to fight the wanna-be cop, she started a change.org petition to stop the fight from happening.
“I thought it was a complete demonstration of disrespect to Trayvon’s parents, to Trayvon himself and to the many people who feel impacted by this injustice,” Dickerson told NewsOne. “It became clear that people were really outraged by this, so I thought that it would certainly be worthwhile to put up this petition. And I see on his Twitter feed that he is trying to create a racialized event.”
Folks on Twitter are letting Feldman have it and he’s taken to the defensive over his decision to schedule the match:
Before Feldman announced on TMZ last night that he picked DMX as Zimmerman’s opponent, the petition only had 114 signatures. Now, it has more than 15,000 towards its goal of 100,000. Though many people have tweeted their grievances at Feldman, Dickerson has not directly tweeted him because she doesn’t want to draw any attention to herself.
“I’m not trying to start a personal thing with Mr. Feldman,” she said. This is about community building. This is about organizing people on an issue that everyone is outraged about and urging them to tweet about it. Of course he will be included in my tweets and I’m pretty sure at this point that he knows he has been put on notice. But I didn’t want to make it a person thing. I wanted to keep it where it was, which is a community issue, something that we have an obligation to speak up and out about and honor the memory of Trayvon and his family.”
To add insult to injury, Feldman announced the fight date on the eve of Trayvon’s birthday. He said he wasn’t aware of the date and apologized in an interview with Philadelphia Magazine. Some have even asked why DMX would agree to the fight, but his agent, Domenick Nati, said no final agreement has been made.
“The boxing match between George Zimmerman and DMX is not officially confirmed,” Nati said in an emailed statement. “DMX has promised to “beat his ass”, but no contract or paperwork has been signed or agreed to yet. DMX will release an official statement if and when an agreement is made.”
This is not the first time someone has tried to profit off the death of Trayvon Martin, only to have their efforts thwarted. Jury B37 from the Zimmerman murder trial inked a book deal soon after the former neighborhood watchman was acquitted of killing the teenager. But Genie Lauren, using the handle “moreandagain,” launched a fierce offensive at the literary agent’s Twitter page demanding that she cancel the deal. Less than 24 hours later, the deal was canned.
Dickerson is hoping the same will happen with this match that Feldman is trying to organize.
“Clearing, this is something that people do not want to see,” she said. “And I just hope that we’re able to appeal to Mr. Feldman’s conscience and that he will come to see that this will do a lot more harm than good and that we can shut this thing down.”