Reimer: Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the most beloved serial woman beater alive

Alex Reimer
June 15, 2017 - 12:22 pm

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

When Rachel Nichols grilled Floyd Mayweather Jr. three years ago about his brutal history of violence against women, the boxing great defiantly said there were "no pictures" of his beatings. It doesn't matter that he served time in prison for assaulting the mother of his children in front of them or that he's been arrested or cited for domestic violence seven times. There's no paper trail besides police reports and court records, which means his acts of barbarism are largely ignored. 

It promises to be an entire summer of Mayweather hype, with his fight against Conor McGregor set for Aug. 26. The highly anticipated bout will take place on the Las Vegas Strip at the T-Mobile Arena, likely in front of nearly 20,000 fans. Mayweather's match two years ago against Manny Pacquiao destroyed all-time boxing records for PPV buys –– it was purchased by more than 4.4 million people –– and this one will probably eclipse that figure. It doesn't matter that the Mayweather-Pacquiao tilt was an interminable bore. Next to the Super Bowl, this may be the most-hyped sporting event of the year. People will be dying to pay $99.95, or more, to see if Mayweather can continue his undefeated streak against an UFC fighter with limited boxing experience. (Spoiler alert: he almost certainly will.) 

Celebrities and athletes often show remorse when they get charged with domestic violence. Sometimes it appears superficial, but there's usually a public admittance of wrongdoing. But not with Mayweather. He denies beating up the mother of his three young children, Josie Harris, even though he pleaded guilty and his then-10-year-old son, who witnessed the attack, described the assault in a statement to law enforcement.  

"Did I kick, stomp and beat someone? No, that didn’t happen," he told Katie Couric in 2014. I look in your face and say, 'No, that didn’t happen.' Did I restrain a woman that was on drugs? Yes, I did. So if they say that’s domestic violence, then, you know what? I’m guilty. I’m guilty of restraining someone."

Mayweather refuses to show contrition, because he doesn't have to. According to Forbes, he's been the highest-paid athlete in the world for three of the last six years. His penchant for smacking around women hasn't hurt him in the wallet. 

It also hasn't dissuaded ESPN, the most powerful sports media organization in the world, from portraying Mayweather in a favorable light. Two years ago, during the leadup to his fight with Pacquiao, Stephen A. Smith fawned over his lavish car collection during an embarrassing MTV Cribs-esque segment. The WorldWide Leader, which did tremendous reporting on the Ray Rice saga, is still hyping Mayweather today. As of Thursday morning, two entire sections of ESPN's homepage are dedicated to hyping the Mayweather-McGregor match. None of the nine listed stories or videos mention Mayweather's domestic violence history. 

It's easy to see why Mayweather doesn't exhibit any repentance. He's a stalwart presence in NBA arenas across the country, often with a front-row seat. Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas, who's invited Mayweather to the T.D. Garden several times since coming to Boston, is perhaps one of the boxer's closest friends. He literally gave Mayweather the jersey off his back following a 38-point performance against the Wizards in January.  

Tom Brady is so conscious of public perception that he doesn't even admit whether he voted for his friend Donald Trump in the presidential election. But yet, he has no qualms about aligning himself with the Money Mayweather brand. Brady FaceTimed Mayweather before the Pacquaio fight and attended the match himself –– cheering Mayweather on. 

It's not an unusual for public figures to continue to thrive after facing domestic violence charges. But they often pay some sort of price, whether in the form of social standing, lost income or tougher media coverage. That is, except for Mayweather. He continues to role along, unencumbered by the weight of seven domestic violence citations or arrests. 

If you were him, you would be laughing in everybody's face, too. 


Comments ()