Why I Won’t Watch Floyd Mayweather Fight
Francis: How much should we expect of our athletes?
On May 2nd, Floyd Mayweather will go up against Manny Pacquaio in a much-publicized fight available at a premium price on Pay-Per-View. Mayweather has evolved into something of a pop-culture phenomenon with his flashy Money Team brand and bravado. As a fighter, his dedication to the sport means that he has often taken his work home: Deadspin has done fantastic reporting on Mayweather’s history as an alleged domestic abuser.
This is why I won’t be paying the hefty price tag to watch him pulverize anyone else. It’s why you shouldn’t, either.
According to Deadspin and other documented news reports: Mayweather has allegedly struck a woman in the face with a car door; punched a woman in the jaw and hit another woman in the head in a single incident; and even went to jail for battering his ex-girlfriend in front of their children. There’s a longer list of allegations, but those cover just a few of the highlights.
Of course, Mayweather is not the only batterer who makes millions. As we know this is a recurring problem within sports (and other industries), including the NFL.
As I recently wrote, technology certainly changes the burden of proof for victims. Janay Rice’s assault was caught on camera and it compelled the NFL to action against Ray Rice, if not out of decency, then just out of shame. Despite all of the documentation and convictions of Mayweather as an abuser, the money keeps coming Pretty Boy Floyd’s way. He remains unrepentant, simply because he doesn’t have to be.
Similarly, Lenny Dykstra, former player for the Philadelphia Phillies was lauded (and lovingly heckled) during Sports Roast 2015 last night. This, despite pleading no contest to charges of assault with a deadly weapon and lewd conduct after luring women to his home with Craigslist ads supposedly seeking housekeeping help. In one case, Dykstra is alleged to have held a knife to a woman’s throat.
The men of sports are held in high esteem because of their athletic prowess, which is easily conflated with masculinity, and of course, power. It’s why the Mayweathers and the Dykstras of the world get pass after pass. Because they are powerful, they are moneyed, they make other people lots of money and in the circle of men, one pinky-ringed hand washes the other.
Mayweather will fight on May 2. He may win, he may lose. In reality, it doesn’t really matter. He is a wealthy man with resources, with no account, and with no worries. SB Nation reports that Mayweather’s share of the proceeds from the weigh-in will go to the Susan G. Komen For The Cure foundation, which funds research for breast cancer cures and treatments. Much like the NFL, Mayweather’s plan is to help men think pink and count green, while women are left black and blue.
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