“The wait is over,” proclaims the copy on Showtime TV’s website. The cable channel is heavily promoting Saturday night’s boxing match in Las Vegas between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. The cable network is going all-out to raise interest to a fever pitch for what it is billing as “one of the most anticipated fights in boxing history.” There is something missing here: Amid all this hoopla, as corporations and promoters line up for their big pay-per-view payday, there is a resounding silence on Mayweather’s documented history of domestic violence — no mention of any accountability or responsibility….That Mayweather is a serial batterer of women cannot be disputed. According to the sports website Deadspin, Mayweather has had at least seven assaults against five women that resulted in arrest or citations in addition to other episodes in which the police were called but no charges filed. …Questioned by CNN reporter Rachel Nichols last year about his abusive behavior, Mayweather showed little remorse. He noted that there were “no pictures … just hearsay and allegations.” He has previously said he should not be compared to O.J. Simpson or Chris Brown because there are no pictures of the women he has allegedly abused — as if the lack of video or photographic evidence is equal to exoneration. In fact, Mayweather spent several months in jail in 2012 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault charges….Mayweather, whom Forbes has named the highest-paid sportsman in the world, is set to take home $180 million for the fight.
Such collective indifference by the public of Mayweather’s domestic abuse is curious considering other incidents involving football players. After video surfaced of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée (now wife) in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, elevator, he was temporarily suspended by the NFL and later dropped by the Baltimore Ravens. Adrian Peterson was likewise suspended by the Minnesota Vikings for harshly disciplining his son. These punishments occurred amid widespread outrage among fans and the public over what was deemed unacceptable behavior by athletes. Such outrage seems to be absent when it comes to Mayweather.
CNN (and ESPN, and other commentators) are perplexed and amazed by this. Let me explain it to them. It’s not hard.
1. This is boxing, in which two men, and sometimes women, try to beat each other into unconsciousness, sometimes permanently injuring the other. It is a thoroughly discredited, completely unethical sport, whose biggest celebrity, most honored figure and most admired practitioner, Mohammud Ali, is a brain damaged shell as a direct result of his participation in it. The most famous recent champion, Mike Tyson, is a self-confessed vicious brute, a rapist, and a domestic abuser who in his last championship fight bit off a piece of his opponent’s ear. Continue reading