The potential match on March 1, what would have been Trayvon
Martin's 19th birthday, could pit Zimmerman, who was found not
guilty in the 2012 shooting death of the unarmed black teenager,
against the trash-talking musician with a history of arrests,
most of them drug or driving offenses.
Earl Simmons, 43, better known as DMX, won the 2000 American
Music Awards vote for best rap/hip-hop artist. He has also acted
in several films and was the subject of a 2006 television
Zimmerman, 30, comes to the ring with some experience. At his
trial, testimony revealed that he trained as a boxer in the year
before the shooting to lose weight and get in shape.
Boxing promoter Damon Feldman is negotiating the celebrity
Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton, in a keynote address to
the National Action Network on Wednesday, cautioned against
"We must be very careful not to glorify or in any way sidestep
the implications of making someone whose only claim to fame was
killing an unarmed young man named Trayvon Martin into a
cultural celebrity or hero," said Sharpton.
"He has the right to pursue whatever he wants in life, yet we
also have the obligation to be discerning about who we lift and
to what level," Sharpton said.
Martin's shooting and Zimmerman's self-defense claim polarized
the nation around issues of racial justice, stand your ground
laws and gun control.
[to top of second column]
After Zimmerman's acquittal, his lawyer said it would be difficult
for his client, like defendants in other notorious crimes, to find
Zimmerman capitalized on his celebrity in December by auctioning one
of his flag paintings on eBay for just over $100,000.
Some of the proceeds from the boxing event would go
to an animal rescue charity, Zimmerman told Radar Online, but he
declined to name the organization.
In his 2013 trial, Zimmerman was accused of profiling, following and
shooting Martin, a guest in a gated neighborhood in central Florida,
as the teen was returning from a convenience store. Zimmerman
claimed self defense.
The trial put the spotlight on Florida's stand your ground law,
which allows someone in fear of his or her life to use lethal force.
Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has had several brushes with the law.
He has twice been stopped for speeding, once in Texas and again in
In September, Zimmerman was questioned by police after his estranged
wife called authorities saying he threatened her with a gun. He was
not charged in the incident, which occurred a week after she filed
(Editing by David Adams and Gunna
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