Everlast, the company name you see so often on boxing gloves, is throwing a big punch for transgender athletes. The 119-year-old fitness company has selected trans boxer Patricio Manuel as the face of its "Be First" campaign. Everlast and Manuel are getting very good press from Newsweek, CNN and CNBC.
Newsweek's Daniel Avery praises Manuel for living his "authentic life," and CNBC's Jade Scipioni says this honor puts him in a class with boxing legends Sugar Ray Robinson and Jack Dempsey as a face of the iconic company.
Manuel is a woman who won five national amateur boxing championships and competed in the 2012 Olympic trials unsuccessfully due to a shoulder injury. She became a household name to LGBT advocates and their media lackeys on Dec. 8, 2018, when in a unanimous decision in Indio, Calif., she defeated Hugo Aguilar.
To learn anything at all about Aguilar, one has to do an internet search to find out what the reporters omit: as of this past May, Aguilar had never come close to winning a professional boxing match against a man or woman, compiling a record of 0-8. Don't sweat the details, media.
Manuel is treated as much more than a "trans man" who defeated a patsy. He (?) is a trendsetting role model. Chris Zoller, Everlast VP of marketing and product development, said Manuel joins Jinji Martinez, an amputee boxer, and Mexican-American boxers Karlos and Jose Balderas as the faces of "Be First.":
"These fighters and their stories not only humanize the world of fightsports, but they also relate to many struggles people face around the world today. Whether you're an immigrant trying to make it in a new country, someone who feels displaced in their own skin and fighting to live their truth, or simply trying to prove others wrong, this campaign is for you. We hope these stories inspire you to rise above and be first."
Avery writes that Manuel completed a six-year journey "to reclaim his identity" when "he" showed up to take his turn at beating up on Aguilar.:
"Everlast, the 119-year-old fitness brand, has struck a blow for LGBT representation ... . It became clear to Manuel that he had to live his authentic life—both as a man and a boxer—but the path was not easy: After he decided to transition, Manuel says, his trainers and gym abandoned him and he had to fight for recognition by official boxing commissions."
Manuel says he achieved the impossible to taking down Aguilar:
"There's so many people that said it's impossible for someone like me, a trans man to be able to compete against a non-trans man and win. And I proved them all wrong that night. I walked out of that fight with my first victory and it was a victory greater than just having my successful pro debut."
Manuel told CNN, "I'm incredibly honored to have been selected to tell my story in Everlast's Be First campaign. Everlast is such a fixture in the sport and to have such an iconic athletic company recognize me as I am -- as a professional boxer who is transgender -- is a dream come true."
To Scipioni, Manuel is one of Everlast's "new crop of trailblazers." And while recovering from that shoulder surgery seven years ago he realized that, as a woman, he was living a lie.
“Once I realized that I was trans, I knew that I needed to live my life being seen as a man,” Manuel told CNBC.
CNN's Allen Kim writes, "He was shunned and abandoned by his trainers and gym, and he had to fight the boxing commissions until they recognized regulations on transgender people in the sport ... ."
Trans athletes never have to fight the approving media lemmings who consistently support them and magnify their deeds. Allen personifies this by writing: "There may be no other fighter who embodies the campaign's focus on challenging people to carve their own path to success better than Manuel, and he is paving the way for others to follow him."