Here’s where we are:
It’s the day after the most anticipated fight of the past twenty years and all is right in the sports world.
The NFL has concluded its annual draft and to no one’s surprise, Jameis Winston from FSU was drafted first overall and signed to a 4 year/$23.35 million dollar contract (including a $16.7 million signing bonus). The same Jameis Winston accused of sexual violence against another FSU student. The NHL playoffs continue into second round match-ups while Slava Voynov from last year’s Stanley Cup champion LA Kings, awaits the start of his trial on domestic violence charges against his wife but nobody knows about it since the Kings were ousted from playoff contention a week before the season ended.
And last night, the most talked about domestic battery convict in sports, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., defended his welterweight title against Manny Pacquiao and won a unanimous 12 round decision in Las Vegas. Floyd Mayweather who is undefeated against men in the ring and undefeated against women outside the ring. The same Floyd Mayweather, Jr. who has a long pattern of abusive behavior, including 7 separate assaults against 5 different women that led to either citation or arrest. The same Floyd Mayweather, Jr. who is a court-certified domestic abuser with the following rap sheet:
- Pleaded guilty to 2 counts of domestic battery in 2002 and received a suspended six month sentence.
- Found guilty in 2003 of 2 counts of domestic battery and received a suspended sentence of six months
- Served 60 days of a 90 day sentence after pleading guilty to domestic violence charges involving a former girlfriend.
The same Floyd Mayweather, Jr. who shows absolutely no remorse.
The same guy who has routinely said that all the bad things he has ever been accused of doing to women are merely allegations…..”Once again no pictures; just hearsay and allegations.” Forgetting that Las Vegas officials have either destroyed or made it extremely difficult for the public to access photographic evidence of his handiwork outside the ring (often through Mayweather’s defense team’s orders for disposal, such as the one filed on October 11, 2011 in his case involving ex-girl friend Josie Harris). Forgetting that he pleaded guilty to a reduced battery domestic violence charge.
Boxing has long been a sport of contradictions. Fans applaud the violence and live for the bloodshed, and too many flawed men are idolized as warriors and heroes in spite of their propensity for violence outside the ring. Mayweather’s rage against women is no different than that of other boxers who preceded him in the last twenty years. Diego Corrales was awaiting sentencing for beating his pregnant wife when he died in a motorcycle accident in 2007. Arturo Gatti had toxic relationships with women and was arrested on domestic violence charges. Mike Tyson, “the baddest man on the planet”, and ex-heavyweight champion, did three years of a six year sentence for rape.
Mayweather has never been sanctioned or suspended by a boxing commission. Never been denied a license to fight. In fact, no fighter has ever been denied a license to fight by a state athletic commission for domestic violence charges.
“He may have a boxing license, but he doesn’t have a license to hurt women”, Gloria Allread said.
In the weeks leading up to the Pacquiao fight, media channels like CNN and ESPN’s “Outside The Lines”, and sportscasters like Keith Olbermann called out Mayweather as a serial abuser. "I will not give (Floyd) Mayweather a dime," Olbermann said about the boxer. "He should've been banned for life by his sport two, or five, or ten years ago. I will not promote, watch, nor report on Mayweather's fight. I will boycott it and I urge you to as well."
But too many voices remain silent. When the video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée came out, the public screamed for blood. Mayweather remains unrepentant and nobody says a thing. If a guy with his criminal record moved into your neighborhood, you might think twice about inviting Mayweather over for coffee and TV time with the family. But millions shelled out close to $100 for the PPV event, putting over $100 million in his pocket, and trivialized his domestic abuse history….trivialized something that should never be trivialized. That’s one of the many reasons why domestic violence remains such a problem throughout society - not just in sports.
Domestic violence is tolerated and trivialized, even by those who say they won’t tolerate it.
It happens that way far too often and doesn't change.