AJ: ‘If you think I’m racist, go f*** yourself’
Anthony Joshua has released a strongly-worded statement in response to backlash he's facing after making a speech in his hometown of Watford in the UK over the weekend.
The world heavyweight champion took part in a Black Lives Matter rally and was filmed talking to the crowd on a microphone about the need to defeat the "virus" of racism.
But one line drew an angry response. Joshua told the crowd not to riot and loot and stay united in nonviolent demonstrations, adding: "Show them where it hurts, abstain from spending your money in their shops and economies, and invest in black-owned businesses."
Some interpreted the message as Joshua calling on black people to boycott white businesses, but the 30-year-old hit back, saying he was reading the speech on behalf of a friend, who had written it but couldn't attend.
"If you think I'm a racist, go f*** yourself," he wrote. "If you watch the full video, the speech was passed around for someone to read and I took the lead.
"I personally spoke from the heart about the Watford community, ideas of us personally investing seven figures to create unity and opportunities and adding change to the African/Caribbean community.
"Shops aren't the issue here. Before you talk s*** you better boycott racism. I said what I said and I will act to make change."
ANTHONY JOSHUA'S FULL SPEECH
"We can no longer from today onward be proud, we can no longer remain silent on the senseless unlawful killing, sly racism of another human being based only on what? Their skin colour.
"We need to speak out in peaceful demonstrations just like today. So well done Watford, inject the vaccine.
"We must not use the demonstration for selfish motives and turn it into rioting and looting. We need to be united in nonviolent demonstrations.
"Show them where it hurts, abstain from spending your money in their shops and economies, and invest in black-owned businesses.
"And that's for all communities if you want to uplift yourselves, invest in your own businesses.
"We have to engage with the youth - I completely agree with that - and put an end to black youth gang culture.
"I'm gunna be real with you about gang culture. I'm down to riot 100 per cent but what you have to realise - it's done. It is done, trust me.
"Unless you wanna be sitting in jail, spending years upon years of your only life that you have thinking about 'yeah, they can lock the locks but they can't stop the clocks'. That's all done because there's too much cameras, too much intelligence.
"All the OGs that I know are telling me 'bro it's finished, it's finished'. Gang life is finished and that's what we're saying.
"I know that I'm not promoting no gangster business. I'm a legit, straight forward hustler - that's just in my DNA and in my blood.
"But I know I've taken my street knowledge and put it into the corporate world and I've gained a lot of respect in that sense. So anyway, gang culture is done.
"So, where was I. We have to engage with the youth and put an end to black youth gang culture. This postcode war - how many houses do we own on that postcode that we're fighting for?
"Let's inject the vaccine. Every life matters - 100 per cent I agree with that. But that does include black lives and that's why we're here today.
"George Floyd - we're all aware of his name - was the catalyst in a list that is already way, way, way too long. "Killing a person outright is unforgivable, but stripping them of their human rights, oppressing them, mocking them, insulting them, placing glass ceilings above them because of what - their skin colour - is just a slower way of killing them and taking the life out of their soul.
"We must unite as the human race and that's what we're doing here today. So once again, thank you very much."
Originally published as AJ: 'If you think I'm racist, go f*** yourself'