Walking through the school hallways on my way to lunch, I caught bits and pieces of a conversation among a crowd of highly energetic boys, who were talking about some fight that was happening on Saturday. I heard someone say something about “a hundred bucks” and thought that possibly someone was having a fight over some money. I continued to wonder what they were talking about; little did I know that I would soon be surrounded by frequent chatter about the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the upcoming days. They weren’t fighting over one hundred dollars; instead, the prize was about 300 million. The hundred dollars was simply the cost to order and watch the fight on TV; people were willing to pay that much just to watch some guys punch each other. The days preceding the highly anticipated boxing match between undefeated champion Mayweather and Pacquiao were filled with excitement among fans and even casual followers of the sport, who were eager to tune into the fight. It was anticipated to be one of the greatest fights of all time; many were calling it “The Fight of the Century,” and no one wanted to miss it. Even as someone who knows absolutely nothing about boxing, I became interested in hearing about the outcome.
In the end, Floyd Mayweather was the winner, beating Pacquiao 14 to 0. I did not watch any of the fight, but wanted to know who won. As I often do in order to find out information, I looked up “Mayweather Pacquiao” on Twitter to find out the results. My search lead me to the discovery that Floyd Mayweather was the ultimate champion. Mayweather was praised and idolized by many for his achievement and won $4,994,681 per minute of the fight. However, many were angered by the match, stating that it was boring and lacking in action. That did not matter to Mayweather, though, because he was the winner and a very, very rich man.
As I scrolled deeper through the tweets out of boredom, a picture caught my eye with the caption “Floyd Mayweather’s son’s police report.” As soon as I opened it, I realized I had discovered an interesting yet extremely disturbing thing in my search: a picture of Mayweather’s son’s statement to police about his father’s abuse towards his mother.
The report reads:
“I saw my dad was on my mom and my mom said go to the [office] my dad was [hitting] her and when my dad left he took my phone and his friend was blocking the stairs. His [friend’s] name is James and my dad [kicked] my mom and he told me to go in my room but I went to go get my mom’s friend that [lives] in our back house. My dad knocked on my door to the family patio then I [opened] it and he came in and told me to close the door to the family room. Then I heard yelling and I came out and my dad was [hitting] my mom. It [happened] at 4:00 am in the morning. Then my mom told me to run to the gate. Then I can and James was walking to come and get me. So then I jumped the fence and went to the [security] [office] and told them then I heard my mom [running] to the gate then the [security] let her in. Then [James] got in my [dad’s] car and drove to the other gate. His car is a [maybach]. When all this started my mom was asleep on the couch in the [family] room. My dad took my [mom’s] phone.”
As I read through this report, I was flooded with a mix of emotions. How could Mayweather do this to his own wife? How could he allow his child to witness such a horrific act? How has he been allowed to participate in a professional sports league and why haven’t his violent tendencies received mainstream attention? Why are people supporting such a terrible man? This lead to me delve deeper into Mayweather’s history of domestic violence and what I found was a man with a troubled past.
With a history of domestic abuse that begins in 2002, Floyd Mayweather has been accused of domestic violence about seven times. He was convicted four of those times, pleading guilty twice, and let off on one count because the case was dropped by his ex girlfriend Josie Harris. In 2001 Mayweather got into a fight with the mother of his daughter, Melissia Brim, punching her in the face and body. As reported by NY Daily News in 2002, Mayweather said at press conference, “Everybody that knows Floyd Mayweather knows I’m a good guy. I have never been to jail.” Considering he has plead guilty twice, there is something extremely disturbing about that statement. Mayweather’s next arrest, in 2003, took place at a Las Vegas nightclub where he punched two women. In 2005, he was arrested for beating a bouncer at a Michigan bar, as well as beating his ex Josie Harris, who later dropped charges against him. Harris would later press the most recent charges against Mayweather in December 2011, an incident that was detailed by their son. Mayweather beat Harris until she was left with bruises and a concussion because she told him that she was dating someone else.
After processing all of information I collected, I sat staring at my computer, stunned and wondering how Floyd Mayweather could possibly be respected by anyone. Is it that people just don’t know he’s a serial batterer? I choose to believe that the majority of the public is uninformed, since the believing the alternative–that people know but don’t care–would mean troubling things about our society. It’s scary to think that someone could have turned on that fight and paid for it knowing that they were promoting a face of domestic violence. It’s not like the media was advertising Mayweather’s history of domestic abuse: all they cared about was pushing it under the rug so that they could reap in the greatest amount of profit possible.