*The following report was previously published by the sports media division of Heavy Inc.
Boxing legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler (pictured) died on Saturday, March 13, at age 66, according to a post made by Hagler’s wife Kay on the boxing champ’s official Facebook fan club page. The news was later confirmed by the Associated Press.
Hagler was one of the most celebrated fighters in boxing history, but a post on Instagram made by one of Hagler’s biggest boxing rivals has caused a major controversy to rage across the internet about the former middleweight champion’s death.
About an hour before Hagler’s death was announced, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns posted, “A real true warrior Pray for the king and his family. He’s in ICU fighting the after effects of the vaccine! He’ll be just fine but we could use the positive energy and Prayer for his Full Recovery!”
Hearns’ post led some to speculate about Hagler’s cause of death, and even about the motives of journalists reporting what Hearns had posted before Hagler died.
For example, boxing journalist Michelle Joy Phelps reposted what Hearns put on Instagram, and some on social media immediately erupted against her.
Phelps posted, “Just before Marvin Hagler’s Passing, Tommy Hearns said this is why he was in the ICU.”
Some social media users claimed Phelps’s report was “shameful” and part of some kind of “anti-vax agenda.”
“I’m not pushing anything. It’s what Tommy said was the cause. So if Tommy has said it was a heart attack, would you be mad even if it wasn’t fully confirmed? I’m simply posting what his friend posted as the cause,” she posted in response to her shamers.
Hearns never claimed to be sharing the cause of death. His post didn’t mention that Hagler had died, and Hearns didn’t reveal what “vaccine” he was talking about.
But a rash of speculative posts has sprung up across the internet. Retired boxer Mark Prince posted his concerns about the vaccine after seeing Hearns’ post. Prince even claimed people are “being used as the guinea pigs.”
No cause of death has been announced by the family or anyone else.
Much of the speculation around the former champ’s death is based on a limited amount of information gleaned from one social media post made by Hearns before Hagler’s death.
Hearns later posted about the issue himself. He said, “Allow us to have our peace…this is not an anti-vaccine campaign…it’s outrageous to have that in mind…” You can read his full statement here.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective (McCarson, 2021).
Reference: McCarson, K. (2021, March 13) Controversy Rages After Death of Boxing Legend [LOOK]. Retrieved from https://heavy.com/sports/ufc/controversy-rages-look/
*BlackThen.com writer/historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.