Boxer Ryan Garcia apologizes for racial slurs and announces plans for rehab

Boxer Ryan Garcia apologizes for racial slurs and announces plans for rehab

Boxing star Ryan Garcia issued a public apology on Friday for his use of racial slurs against Black people and disparaging comments about Muslims during a recent social media livestream. “I take all responsibility for my words,” Garcia wrote in a series of posts on X. “Sorry everyone that I offended.” He further explained that he is “misunderstood,” struggling with substance abuse, and plans to enter rehab.

Garcia’s apology came a day after World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman announced that the organization was expelling Garcia for his actions during the livestream. “We reject any form of discrimination,” Sulaiman stated. “I fear for Ryan’s well-being as he has declined multiple attempts for our help with mental health and substance abuse.”

Oscar De La Hoya, Garcia’s promoter, also condemned the boxer’s behavior in a strongly worded statement on X. “There is no room for hate or intolerance at my company. Period. I condemn Ryan’s words in the strongest terms possible,” De La Hoya wrote. “I see that he has apologized, and that is a start – but it is only a start to earn back the trust and respect of those of us who have and continue to support him. We hope Ryan will use the time he has away from the sport to work through the issues he has publicly discussed. We stand ready to help in whatever we can.”

Garcia is currently serving a one-year suspension from the New York State Athletic Commission after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug ostarine. The suspension is retroactive to Garcia’s April 20 decision victory over Devin Haney, which has since been overturned to a no-contest. Garcia has vehemently denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs. Two supplements listed on doping control forms, which were submitted alongside Garcia’s urine sample collections on April 19 and 20, showed the presence of the banned substance.

The 25-year-old boxer was also arrested in June on felony vandalism charges stemming from an incident at a hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where he was accused of causing an estimated $15,000 in damage. Garcia’s family addressed his recent troubling behavior and social media remarks, stating that these “do not align with his, or our family’s, true character or beliefs.”

“Our family unequivocally does not support any statements [Garcia] has made regarding race or religion — these do not reflect who Ryan truly is and how he was raised,” the family’s statement read. “Those who know Ryan can attest to this fact. Ryan has been open about his ongoing struggle with mental health over the years and as a family we are committed to ensuring and encouraging that he receives the necessary help to navigate this very challenging time and address both his immediate and long-term well-being.”

Garcia’s recent actions have sparked widespread criticism and concern within the boxing community and beyond. His use of racial slurs and derogatory comments about Muslims during the livestream has been condemned by many, including his own promoter and the World Boxing Council. The incident has also brought to light Garcia’s ongoing struggles with substance abuse and mental health issues, which he has publicly acknowledged.

In his apology, Garcia expressed regret for his words and actions, stating that he is committed to seeking help and making amends. “I know I have a lot of work to do to earn back the trust and respect of those I have hurt,” he wrote. “I am taking this time to focus on my health and well-being, and I am committed to doing whatever it takes to become a better person.”

The boxing community has rallied around Garcia, offering support and encouragement as he embarks on his journey to recovery. Many have expressed hope that he will use this time away from the sport to address his issues and come back stronger. “We all make mistakes, and it’s important to learn from them and grow,” one fan wrote on social media. “I hope Ryan takes this opportunity to get the help he needs and come back better than ever.”

Garcia’s decision to enter rehab is seen as a positive step towards addressing his substance abuse issues and taking responsibility for his actions. It is also a reminder of the importance of mental health and the need for support and understanding for those struggling with addiction and other challenges. “Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that we support those who are struggling,” another fan commented. “I hope Ryan gets the help he needs and comes out of this stronger and healthier.”

As Garcia begins his journey to recovery, he faces a long road ahead. His actions have had significant consequences, including his expulsion from the World Boxing Council and his suspension from the New York State Athletic Commission. However, with the support of his family, friends, and fans, he has the opportunity to make amends and rebuild his career and reputation.

In the meantime, the boxing community will be watching closely, hoping that Garcia’s apology and commitment to rehab are the first steps towards a brighter future. “We all want to see Ryan succeed and overcome his challenges,” one fan wrote. “It’s going to be a tough journey, but with the right support and determination, he can do it.”

Source: ESPN News Services, The Associated Press

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