By Jordan Rinard, For The Miami Student
Ever since the knowledge of the NFL’s botched investigation of the domestic violence charges were made public, there has been an increase in demands by fans to hold players more accountable for their actions in regards to domestic violence. The league even added strict penalties for players that are caught participating in this behavior, so it would seem that we are holding athletes to higher standards when it comes to domestic violence.
But what about when that athlete is the highest paid athlete in the world, the face of his sport, has been implicated in domestic violence on four different occasions, and even spent time in jail for it while managing to continue his career?
This is the dilemma with Floyd Mayweather. Coming off his rematch with Marcos “Chino” Maidana, the man named “Money” was rumored to be in discussions with Manny Pacquiao’s camp about having two fights in 2015, which would be the two most lucrative paydays in boxing history as Mayweather is seeking to end his career undefeated.
While this was going on, his former girlfriend brought a civil lawsuit against him for battering and tormenting her, holding her against her will, holding her at gunpoint and posting to one of his social media pages a sonogram supposedly showing her pregnant with his twins and claiming she had an abortion.
The boxer was sentenced to 90 days of jail in 2012 following a 2010 incident that featured hair-pulling, arm-twisting and punching his then-girlfriend in front of their children. He was released after 63 days for “good behavior.” Other incidents occurred in 2002 and 2010, to which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic-battery charges.
In a recent interview Mayweather said “Like I’ve said in the past, no bumps, no bruises, no nothing. With O.J. and Nicole, you seen pictures. With Chris Brown and Rihanna, you seen pictures. With [Chad] Ochocinco and Evelyn, you seen pictures. You guys have yet to see any pictures of a battered woman, a woman who says she was kicked and beaten [by me]. So I just live my life and try to stay positive, and try to become a better person each and every day.” (Not exactly a declaration of his innocence).
In regards to the Ray Rice situation, he added “I think there’s a lot worse things that go on in other people’s households, also. It’s just not caught on video, if that’s safe to say. You know I wish Ray Rice nothing but the best. He’s probably going through a lot right now because football is his love. It’s no different with me being in the fight game if they told me, ‘You know Floyd, you signed the biggest deal in sports history [with Showtime/CBS] and a couple months later the deal is taken away from you’ — it’s like ‘Oh man.’ It’s not really the money. It’s the love of the sport.”
One can only hope that we hold all athletes, despite their production level, to the same high standards of moral conduct. Just because Mayweather is the best boxer of his generation and Rice is declining as a running back doesn’t mean that the former should get a pass and the latter is now expendable. Athletes (and people) who beat women should be treated the same (i.e. HARSHLY) and maybe if the public comes with the same fervor against boxing as they did against the NFL, then this just might happen.