Stock trader Timothy Sykes became the center of controversy last week when he lashed out at Bow Wow by relying on racist stereotypes, leading many to accuse him of bigotry on Twitter.
But the 36-year-old entrepreneur insists he is not racist and is now apologizing not only for what he said but for how he said it.
“Please know that I am not racist and I would never tolerate or condone such a disgusting thing,” Sykes said. “Now, looking back, I can see why some people would be upset when I made those generalizations and I regret those words. … It was not my intention to offend anyone. Besides, who am I to tell people what drinks to or not to consume?“
Sykes commanded Bow Wow, whose real name is Shad Moss, to stop using other’s photos after the rapper-actor posted an image of a private jet, which seemed to imply he was flying private. However, he was later pictured on a commercial flight.
“I’m not a broke ass musician like those you hang around with,” Sykes wrote on Instagram Saturday, May 13. “I don’t drink #hennessy or #sizzurp because I use my brain to make money as #knowledgeispower and the #stockmarket is what more people should respect, not failed musicians pretending to still be relevant.”
Sykes also called out the “Growing Up Hip-Hop Atlanta” star for using an image that didn’t belong to him on another occasion.
“Bow Wow had used my cash photo as his own a little over a year ago,” he said. “So I tweeted [the post below] and then he mentioned me in an interview on Friday claiming the cash wasn’t mine, when I ONLY post my own cash photos, so I took it up a notch with my posts and let my emotions get the best of me.”
— Timothy Sykes (@timothysykes) May 10, 2017
“I ALWAYS call out liars and thieves,” Sykes said, and in response to the #BowWowChallenge, where users posted obviously phony images of extravagant lifestyles as if they were their own, he called on Bow Wow to donate $100,000 to a charity of his choice, something he said he’ll match.
“I normally donate $1 million to charities such as my recent record-breaking donation to Pencils of Promise but I’m making this challenge for only $100,000 so Bow Wow can afford it,” Sykes said in an announcement.
He acknowledged the statement “was definitely condescending” but he also intended it to be humorous.
“I will still gladly give him stock market lessons, too. It’s never too late to learn and change your financial situation around, no matter who you are or what your background is,” Sykes added.
Bow Wow has yet to respond to Sykes’ request, but the entrepreneur said he’ll give him as long as he needs. Sykes plans on announcing donations to three charities, including a $125,000 contribution to United Negro College Fund in Bow Wow’s honor.
Regarding the backlash he received, Sykes said it had no influence on him turning the #BowWowChallenge into a charitable cause.
“I just looked at my own comments and didn’t like how negative they were as I’ve been very fortunate in life and wanted to turn the negativity around in some way,” he said.”I’ve really been focused on my charity lately … so I wanted to bring the issue back to a pay-it-forward message and use social media to do good, rather than just entertainment and gossip.”
Still, if he had to do it all over again, Sykes would have done a few things differently.
“I wish I hadn’t gotten so negative and angry to begin with,” he said, “but all I can do now is try to make the best out of this situation and raising money for great causes is a step in the right direction.”