20 Aug 2017 | Philadelphia, PA
Following the recent trend of the removal of Confederate statues around the country, Black Lives Matter leaders are now demanding that The City of Philadelphia remove the iconic bronze statue of Rocky Balboa from The Philadelphia Museum of Art. The reaction comes in response to Balboa’s decision to not throw in the towel resulting in the death of Apollo Creed, following an exhibition match against Soviet fighter Ivan Drago in 1985. Balboa helped train the aging Creed for what promoters touted as an easy win for the fighter who was in retirement at the time.
Recent tensions have flared the debate on whether Balboa intentionally let Drago kill Creed because he was African-American. Balboa, who grew up in the streets of Philadelphia has had a long history of beating black men including Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang and Mason Dixon. Sources also report that Balboa’s associations are being scrutinized including longtime trainer, Mickey Goldmill, who was seen wearing a white sheet at a Drexel University fraternity toga party in 1926. Balboa’s best friend and brother-in-law, Paulie Pennino, is said to have shouted racial slurs at black workers at a Philadelphia meat packing plant, while intoxicated, in the late 1970’s.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has suggested that talks with various community leaders will determine the fate of the 10-foot statue. Kenney also pleaded with demonstrators to not take matters into their own hands: “The statue weighs 2 tons and could hurt someone when it falls.”
Democratic Congressmember Maxine Waters (California-43rd. District) is urging members of the House Intelligence Committee to investigate any possible collusion between President Donald J. Trump and Russian boxing promoters involved in the 1985 fight. In a renewed call for his impeachment, she blamed Trump and Russia for the death of the black athlete: “These scumbags killed Apollo!” In a letter to Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price, Waters asked for his resignation following allegations of steroid use by the Russian boxer. Records revealed that no testing had been done before the fight. Tom Price has adamantly denied any wrongdoing in the 1985 death and at a press conference responded to Waters: “What the Hell does this have to do with me?”