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Emile Griffith, Boxing Champion, Dies

Closeted and conflicted, but Gay. Killed an opponent after the guy called him 'maricon,' gutter Spanish for homosexual.

Emile Griffith was one of the toughest guys in one of the toughest sports on Earth, a kind man who wasn't so kind in the ring. He was one of the best fighters in an era loaded with elite fighters and, despite his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, was never given the credit he was due.

Rather, Griffith, who died Tuesday in New York at 75, will sadly best be remembered for killing rival Benny Paret in the ring during a nationally televised welterweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Paret called Griffith 'maricon,' gutter Spanish for homosexual. It is the most vulgar epithet in that violent idiom and is particularly galling to Griffith, who has a piping voice, wears extravagantly tight clothes, has designed women's hats and is, ordinarily, a charming, affectionate kid. Griffith told Benny to "shut up." Paret laid a gratuitous, slighting hand on Emile's back. "Keep your hands off me, Paret," snarled Griffith.

by Anonymousreply 807/23/2013

I wish that Paret had lived, so Griffith could ask him "Who's the faggot now, bitch?".

by Anonymousreply 107/23/2013

He cant be closeted if he came out OP. Bad message to others. He talked openly about being gay.

by Anonymousreply 207/23/2013

Thanks for posting, OP.

Until today I wasn't familiar with Emile Griffith's story, and in the obit announcement I heard on ESPN, they didn't mention anything about him being a gay (or bisexual?) athlete.

by Anonymousreply 307/23/2013

[quote]He cant be closeted if he came out OP. Bad message to others. He talked openly about being gay.

Of course he was closeted. He denied it the whole time he was fighting, and then kept right on denying it for another 25 or 30 years.

by Anonymousreply 407/23/2013

There is an amazing documentary of him and the fight with Paret called Ring of Fire. It outed him as gay and as being gay bashed which led to brain damage. The bashing along with the cumulative effect of getting hit in boxing led to serious cognitive damage for Emile.

by Anonymousreply 507/23/2013

I saw that fight on TV with my dad. It went 12 rounds & was stopped by the ref because Griffith had Paret on the ropes. Griffith was a good boxer & good man.

by Anonymousreply 607/23/2013


by Anonymousreply 707/23/2013

The Ring of Fire documentary is on YouTube, R5:

by Anonymousreply 807/23/2013
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