Statement posted to Claressa Shields' social media: Hey everybody what’s up, the last 24 hours I’ve had time to reflect on what happened and I want you guys to hear it personally from me. My heart is with Coach [Bashir] Ali [hospitalized with apparent broken bones in his face from an attack at the weigh-in]. He is a coach who has given his heart to this sport and to so many fighters over a long career. My heart is with Ivana Habazin [whom Shileds was suppiosed to fight, but that is now cancelled], whose courage, discipline and heart were evident in the way she trained for this day and traveled a long distance to realize my dream of fighting in my hometown of Flint. My heart is with Boxing fans, especially fans of women’s boxing. My heart is with all the female boxers who have struggled for equality in this sport - and the world . And with those who have fought with all of their heart to elevate women’s boxing and open doors for the young women behind us.
My heart is with my city of Flint, a city desperately in need of some good news— desperately in need of a moment of relief from the every day chaos and trauma of living with poverty and violence. My heart is with the team at Showtime and the hundreds of people who invested in my dream and stood behind me when I desired to give back to my hometown.
What happened yesterday is inexcusable. And unbearable. It should not have happened. And, as much as i want to wake up from this nightmare, this is what we all are facing today. This is the reality for my town of Flint, and in cities across the country- and around the world.. We are all living with trauma. We live in and among mental illness and addiction. We live with a desperate hope for something better. We struggle, we fail, we get back up and try again. We can take responsibility for ourselves and ask others and the Lord to forgive us. We can set our dream in motion and still, one person, one split second, can unravel it all.
I am still sorting through what happened yesterday and reflecting on my role in what lead up to this attack. I did not see what happened and am relying, like so many of you, on what I have heard. Despite the videos that are out, the actions that took place against Coach Ali was not right. I do not stand for that and do not in any way justify what happened no matter what he said! I stand with Coach Ali and Ivana Habazin and I also understand their stand on our fight. This one person’s actions should not be a reflection of the people of Flint, Michigan who work so hard to better themselves each and every day.
I am praying to the Lord for guidance, as always. I ask for your prayers and support to help make something positive come from this tragedy.
I ask you to join me in praying for Coach Ali, For Ivana Habazin and their families. I ask you to join me in prayers for the city of Flint, and for people around the world who are hurting and who do not know what to do with that pain.