‘We Don’t Play By the Same Rules’: Ryan Garcia Doubles Down After Stephen Jackson Warns Boxer for Saying He Wants to ‘Dig George Floyd Up’

Boxer Ryan Garcia has come under fire over using racial slurs and ill remarks about George Floyd during a recent social media rant, prompting former NBA player and friend of Floyd Stephen Jackson to take issue with his words.

On Thursday, July 4, Ryan Garcia embarked on a rampage on Twitter Spaces in which he used the N-word several times and proclaimed that he hates Black people and Muslims.

“I hate n—gers, I’m anti-Black. Let’s join the Ku Klux Klan. F—k the n—gers! N—a, I’m KKK,” Garcia said.

During the bizarre rant, Garcia also made disparaging remarks about George Floyd.

“Hey, let’s go bring George Floyd back to life and go kill that n—a again,” he said.

In 2020, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer who knelt on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. His death sparked a chain of protests across not only the United States, but the world. Floyd was originally from Houston, Texas, where he had a close relationship with Stephen Jackson, a fellow Houston native who spent 14 seasons in the NBA. Jackson has previously spoken out about the personal relationship he had with Floyd, even referring to him as “Twin” due to their physical resemblance.

Garcia’s comments about Floyd, as well as his use of the N-word, pushed Jackson to respond with a warning.

Stephen Jackson Issues Warning to Boxer Ryan Garcia for Saying He's Going to 'Dig George Floyd Up' (Photo: @_stak5_ / Instagram; @kingryan/Instagram)
Stephen Jackson (L) Issues Warning to Boxer Ryan Garcia (R) for Saying He’s Going to ‘Dig George Floyd Up’ (Photo: @_stak5_ / Instagram; @kingryan/Instagram)

“Somebody tell @RyanGarcia pull up to 3rd Ward, Texas and say that st again about G. Floyd and see what happen,” Jackson tweeted on July 4. “When people bring up the dead it shows who’s really dying inside. Free Game. It’s a diff set of rules outside the ring kid. Get some help before it’s too late.”

Jackson followed with a video message to Garcia.

“First you go from taking steroids, then you talking about digging George Floyd up and killing him again. Now you talking about you hate n—as and you want to join the KKK. Look, dawg, you need to get some help, bro.”

Jackson continued, “We don’t play by those same rules that you play by in that ring, dawg. And I’m just telling you, just like I told you in the DMs when you said some fly sh—, I told you to get some help because it’s a whole different ballgame out here, bro.”

Jackson went on to call Garcia a “clout chaser” and urged him to “keep George Floyd’s name out your mouth.”

About an hour after Jackson urged Garcia to tread lightly, the 25-year-old boxer jumped back on a livestream to make it clear he had no fear of retribution.

“You ain’t gonna catch me apologizing for nothing. Try to touch me all y’all want. Shoot me if you want. I don’t give a f—k,” Garcia said during his Instagram Live session.

“None of you guys do anything in person. This is all internet,” Garcia said after revealing he would be at the July 6 Shakur Stevenson fight against Artem Harutyunyan.

“You guys are internet gangsters. I really want everybody to come try me,” Garcia dared.

However, before he could make his appearance at the Stevenson fight, it appeared that Garcia had a change of heart. On July 25, Garcia took to Twitter Spaces again, this time to issue an apology.

He began the nearly 20-minute long live chat by saying, “First and foremost, I want to apologize to the Black community. I apologize to the Muslim community. Basically, for my language and my vocabulary. Obviously, I have a big responsibility as a famous athlete, and I was very under the influence. I’m going through a lot, but I have no excuse.”

Garcia went on to say that he was pressured by friends to make insensitive remarks, then addressed issues in his personal life, including his divorce and being called a “zoo animal” by former boxer Tim Bradley on ESPN, that affected his choices.

Garcia then turned his attention back to his remarks about George Floyd, however, rather than just apologizing, he may have dug a deeper hole.

“I apologize for my words on George Floyd. Everybody that was hurt by that, I get it. I understand that,” he began. “I was just speaking my piece because of what people have told me. They told me he was a crackhead; they showed me proof, they showed me he had a pregnant lady at gunpoint, and he didn’t like Black people. He didn’t even have a Black girlfriend. The dude literally didn’t stand for Black people. What am I supposed to do, bro?”

To accompany his Twitter Spaces apology, Ryan Garcia also posted a written apology on social media, saying, “I take all responsibility for my words.” He again pointed to the personal anguish and substance issues he experienced.

“I’m misunderstood, I just got a lot of trauma… And It’s been a tough couple of months as everyone can tell but I AM SORRY… I struggle with substance abuse and it hard for me with everything going on.”

Garcia then professed his fondness for Black people, saying, “I actually love [B]lack people no cap which is why I’m actually said I offended all my [B]lack family and friends.” He also vowed to no longer used inappropriate language. “This sucks but all I can do is be better and stop using stupid words and letting some people in my circle hype me up… Sorry everyone that I offended.”

But, the pro boxer did not waver on two of his stances He added, “I still stand on stopping black on black crime… And that I hate pedos so that will always remain something I stand on.”

Shortly after Garcia’s initial comments, World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman announced that Garcia’s appalling behavior prompted the organization to expel the boxer.

“Exercising my authority as president of the WBC, I am hereby expelling Ryan Garcia from any activity with our organization,” Sulaiman said on July 4. “We reject any form of discrimination. I fear for (Garcia’s) well-being.”

Fans also chimed in.

“A drunk tongue speaks a sober mind and a lot of truth is said in jest. When ppl show you who they are, believe them. Simple,” one fan commented on Instagram.

Others suggested that Garcia suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The neurodegenerative disease can result from repeated trauma to the head, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“CTE is a real thing,” one person wrote in the Instagram comments section.

“Ryan G got CTE or something,” another person asserted.

Garcia’s parents also spoke out and said their son’s words, saying his comments were not a reflection of the type of person they knew him to be.

“Our son has recently made statements that do not align with his, or our family’s, true character or beliefs,” the statement read. “Our family unequivocally does not support any statements he has made regarding race or religion — these do not reflect who Ryan truly is and how he was raised. 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. We appreciate the continued support, prayers, and compassion.”

Garcia has announced that he will seek help.

“I just want to be a positive influence now. I’m headed to rehab, and I’m going to make a real change in my heart. Like I said, all I can do is be better.”

Back to top