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Jake Paul does not represent Puerto Rico. (Op-Ed)

YouTuber turned boxer, Jake Paul, now claims that he’s representing Puerto Rico. In an interview with DAZN, Paul said “Canelo, stop ducking. I know you want it. I’m repping Puerto Rico. You’re repping Mexico. So, it’s Puerto Rico vs. Mexico. I want Canelo. I want all the biggest names. Like I said, I’m the face of this sport. Truly, who’s doing more for boxing than me? I keep on proving myself time and time again.” With a fight against boxing legend Mike Tyson set for the summer, Paul is determined to make a name for himself. However, he does not represent Puerto Rico. Not even a little.

Paul was born in Westlake, Ohio, not Puerto Rico. In his terribly annoying song “It’s Everyday Bro” (2017), he loudly boasts “Los Angeles, Cali boy. But I’m from Ohio though, white boy.” So, which is it, Jake? Ohio, California, or Puerto Rico?

Paul is an American citizen and doesn’t get to claim Puerto Rican nationality. The Paul brothers moved to Puerto Rico for one reason and one reason alone: tax breaks. “In Puerto Rico, you are motivated to do more and make more money because of the implications that come with that. It is 96 percent of the reasons (taxes), which is the same amount of money that you keep each year if you live in Puerto Rico,” Paul and his team said on the Impaulsive podcast. Paul bought a $16 million mansion on the island; Most residents in Puerto Rico do not have to pay the federal personal income tax that comes within the U.S. Notably, there is also no federal income tax on capital gains, dividends, or interest, no local income tax, no inheritance tax, no gift tax, and reduced corporate tax rates.

Jake Paul has taken advantage of the island and does not care about the people of Puerto Rico. He is a white American parading around in his mansion, not a man of the people. You just don’t get to claim nationality in a country that you are actively exploiting. Puerto Rico has a rich culture, a diverse landscape, and incredible people. This is an offensive, colonizer mindset that Paul has taken on.

There are many Puerto Rican boxers who actually deserve to represent the country, most notably Edgar Berlanga. If there is ever a Puerto Rico vs. Mexico boxing match, Berlanga should be in the ring, not a millionaire YouTuber from Ohio who lacks respect and basic human decency.

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