Scott Brown’s plans for an endorsement today by famed Lowell boxer Micky Ward, of “The Fighter” fame, were cancelled after Ward said he learned about the Massachusetts Republican’s stance on labor unions and gay marriage.
The Sun of Lowell reported this morning that Ward told the newspaper on Thursday he “admired Brown’s spirit and respected the way he could ‘go out there and listen and talk like a guy who is positive and wants to do right by us.’”
But the paper said Ward called back about a half-hour later to reverse his decision.
“I can’t support Scott Brown,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. “I just can’t do it.”
The former boxer added: “I found out Scott (Brown) is anti-union and I’m a Teamster guy. I found out he’s also against gay marriage, and I say if you love someone, you should have the same rights no matter who you are.”
As a state senator, Brown opposed gay marriage, but he recently voted in favor of repealing the military’s “don’t ask-don’t tell” ban on gays openly serving in the armed forces. He argues that gay marriage is settled law in Massachusetts, the first state to allow it.
And while Brown’s Democratic reelection opponent, Elizabeth Warren, enjoys support from some of her party’s traditional labor supporters, the senator—a former model—is himself a union member.
He has cultivated votes in working-class South Boston and touted his own backing by union laborers. And he says his top priority is job creation, which the senator has argued will benefit both union and non-union workers.
Brown spokeswoman Alleigh Marre said in a statement: “Scott Brown respects Micky Ward and respects his views.”
Ward has become a blue-collar folk hero not only in the Merrimack Valley but across the country for his boxing exploits, chronicled in an Academy Award-winning movie adaptation featuring actors Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Melissa Leo.
Brown, who has cultivated an everyman image during his two years in the Senate, mentioned today’s endorsement when he met with reporters on Thursday upon arriving in Tampa to attend the closing session of the Republican National Convention.
It was to come a week after Warren visited Arthur Ramalho’s West End Gym in Lowell—where Ward trained—to receive the endorsement of Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy.
This morning, however, Brown’s staff would not tell the Globe where the Ward endorsement was to occur.
Shortly thereafter, The Sun published its blog post revealing that the event had been cancelled.