In recent weeks, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been having problems outside the lines of the boxing ring. With the fight, which fans are calling his biggest fight ever, coming up against Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather needs to be on top of his game. But with the media spotlighting on him for all of the wrong that he has done in the past, his career may in fact be slowly diminishing. Though Mayweather is a strong boxer who certainly makes good money on all of his fights, the sports world may one day be unable to continue to look the other way on the boxer’s past. As the media continues to throw a fit over his eligibility to be in the boxing ring, the sports world so far continues to ignore it. But many believe that they are wrong in continuing to let the boxer fight, now that his past is out in the open, now more than ever before.
Recently the ESPN show called Outside the Lines featured Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a documentary in which the star is not shown for his great boxing skills. Instead, he was shown for his history of violence against women. This started a controversial battle between Mayweather and his supporters and those who are calling for a sacrificial end to his career. As it was covered in the documentary that the boxer had been convicted five times over the last 14 years, for his crimes of violence against women, the media is protesting the support that Mayweather gets for continuing to participate in the sport of boxing. As his violence inside the boxing ring is cheered on, comments are reflecting that his violence outside the ring could be as a result that he has not been penalized from boxing.
With the recent documentary showing Mayweather in the worst of lights, the world of boxing is being somewhat threatened. As mentioned, fans continue to watch Mayweather fight, regardless of his past but with his history being controversial, media is fighting against him. Protesting that people should not watch Mayweather fight in the boxing ring, media states that watching him fight is encouraging to his behavior outside of the ring. The fact that his punishment for violence against women took place years ago, does not seem to matter to media that all along Mayweather has been allowed to continue his boxing career. What they see now is the fact that the show Outside the Lines which aired on ESPN, brought Mayweather’s controversial history to the table for all to see, and all along he has been unpunished by the sports world.
However, what people do at “work” does not necessarily influence what they do at “home,” and it is possible that Mayweather, even though he was punished by the legal system, feels that he can not be seen as a violent criminal, as hitting is what he does so well for his career. Especially as he makes millions of dollars off of his hits on television and pay-per-view matches. This next match coming up against Pacquiao on May 2, is expected to bring him $180 million dollars, just for one match. Though boxing is his profession and hitting women does not get him any money (in fact, just the opposite it got him jail time), not being penalized in his career has caused problems for Mayweather, especially since the media has been having a field day with his Outside the Lines documentary.
Many sports professionals and celebrities are often punished for their acts outside of the camera, due to the fact that they are public figures. But the fact is, a man who hits a woman and is not a public figure, often does not get punished at his job. In the same instance, is it right for Mayweather to be punished in his career for what he does outside of it? Fans and supporters seem to take the other side. They state that his boxing has nothing to do with his acts against women outside of the ring. Though Mayweather may have a problem of domestic abuse, he does not seem to have a problem inside the ring, as violence is encouraged there. The Nevada Athletic Commission also stated that it was none of their business what the boxer did when he was not in the ring. Stating that it was not up to them to punish him, the commission continues to allow the boxer to put on million dollar shows. This brings in another controversial question that news and protesters have been asking. Could it be that Mayweather’s money making career and history in the lines of the ring that is causing people to ignore his history outside of it?
As media is making statements about the sports world’s refusal to punish Mayweather for his crimes outside of the rings, they are pushing also that potential viewers and sports networks donate the money from the upcoming weekend boxing match to support networks for women of domestic violence. As charitable as that sounds, it is unlikely that Mayweather’s support network would do that, as it would create a line where the sports networks and fans admit that Mayweather should be penalized in his boxing career for his violence against women. Since they stand firm that it is none of their business, blurring the lines is not something they want to do. Though Mayweather is having problems outside the lines of his boxing ring, so far he is still eligible to participate in the sport and make the big money. Though boxing fans can choose to boycott the upcoming match, it is also unlikely that they will do so, given that the fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao has been long awaited. As both sides stand firm on their decision to not punish the boxer or demand that he should be punished, the controversy going on between the sports world and media may just always be ongoing.
Opinion by Crystal Boulware