Heavyweight world title contender Bryant Jennings has slammed people wishing Muslims a “Merry Christmas” or even “Happy Holidays” as ignorant, idiotic, and disrespectful.
“To say Merry Christmas or Happy holidays to a Muslim is ignorance, idiocy, and out right [sic] disrespectful,” wrote Philadelphia-born Jennings, 36, on Twitter.
“I get the Christmas thing obviously but saying happy holidays? Whys [sic] that so bad?” asked one nonplussed user.
“Cus it’s not a holiday for us,” he replied emphatically.
The boxer, who considers himself something of an honourary Londoner, last challenged for a major world title — the World Boxing Association (WBA) interim heavyweight belt — in December 2015, losing to Cuban pugilist Luis Ortiz after falling to a devasting left uppercut and being battered by a series of shots that sent him stumbling into the ropes after regaining his feet.
He had previously challenged all-time great Wladimir Klitschko at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City, for the lineal heavyweight championship and a series of major belts, but lost by unanimous decision after eating a barrage of jabs over the course of the bout in what would prove to be Klitschko’s last career victory.
To say Merry Christmas or Happy holidays to a Muslim is ignorance, idiocy, and out right disrespectful.
— B.Y (@BYJennings) December 25, 2020
This is not the first year Jennings has expressed irritation with people wishing Muslims a Merry Christmas during the festive season, with well-wishers earning an irate public dressing down from the boxer on Twitter in 2017.
“To all the [people] that texted me Merry Christmas don’t wit the i didn’t even respond [sic],” he wrote.
“Smdh [shake my damn head] you know damn well I’m Muslim why would you even make the attempt,” he demanded.
“I’m a start sending salaams through text and then see what y’all say,” he added.
To all the ppl that texted me Merry Christmas don’t start wit the i didn’t even respond. Smdh you know damn well I’m Muslim why would you even make the attempt. I’m a start sending salaams through text and then see what y’all say.
— B.Y (@BYJennings) December 26, 2017