Floyd Mayweather. Got your attention? And I don't give a shit if he is one of the highest paid athletes. I grew up with boxing. I appreciate mixed martial arts and other contact sports. This is not about that. This is about Mayweather the man, and how time after time he has gotten away with hurting women and is now trying to discredit a movement that was initiated to create a support network for survivors of sexual violence. I cannot believe a female who follows me on Instagram called him a #GOAT (greatest of all time.) Because he's not. (We all know who "The Greatest" was).
Why am I so pissed? Mayweather is a convicted physical abuser and now he has brushed off the #MeToo movement. The Me Too movement was created by Tarana Burke in 2006 so that survivors of sexual violence could show solidarity with one another. This was recently brought to the mainstream because women were speaking out about their experiences and outing men in media, film and music industries who had allegedly raped, molested and sexually harassed or abused them.
Mayweather was asked in an interview with Men's Health Magazine on Wednesday about the movement by reporter Jordyn Taylor.
Don't tell me he says shit just to be controversial. He's not fucking Kanye. And don't brush it off as ignorance because it wasn't. She spelled it out for him, and still, he continued with his jokes. And it's super damaging to say "Did you really think he was going to say something woke about #MeToo?" No. I don't expect him to be a male Gloria Steinem. But I sure as hell am not going to excuse him as some "dumb jock" for making jokes about the movement. He knows all too well about fucking women up and serving hours for it. He's not a neanderthal without a compass. All I hear are excuses for a dude who has been paid millions to fight.
This is a man who has been convicted multiple times of hurting a woman he was in a relationship with. And he uses those same abusive hands to make millions. Here is a timeline to help you out, published in Business Insider in 2015. Convictions include pleading guilty to battery and domestic violence over a five-month span.
His eldest daughter's mom was the survivor. The reporter on this piece in Business Insider, Tony Manfred, wrote, "Mayweather has avoided the sort of public scorn that high-profile athletes accused of domestic violence have faced. Boxing is a niche sport, and doesn't have the sort of authoritative governing body that can meaningfully punish a figure like Mayweather."
I agree. This is what it seems like to a domestic violence survivor like me. I am apparently not the only one.
And guess what? Surprise! I don't care if Mayweather was referring to the song "Mr. Me Too" by Clipse, which everyone and their mom is pointing out. He could be reciting lines from "Somewhere Over the Rainbow!" Don't you see how wrong that is in itself? He dodged the point of the question being asked. That's the point. Not the lyrics of some track.
And no. I am not going to give him credit or a pass for his response to the next question that reporter Taylor threw his way:
Oh, and Taylor, I cannot believe no one @ you on your piece for referring to Mayweather as sensitive. Girl, what?
As for Mayweather's response. Uncomfortable? So was praying the way Mayweather tried not to beat females anymore? Sexual harassment isn't cool, of course. But he stated this after he joked about Me Too and even went so far as quoting a song. Mayweather hitting women was not an uncomfortable position. He's used to taking shots. And he hit men. For money. I'm all for contact sports. I am not for men hitting women repetitively and not being convicted. It wasn't as if it was a one-time thing and he was under the influence and then donated money to a DV nonprofit. It was multiple times with multiple women.
Oh and about you all excusing him for not being "woke" or not up-to-date on current events…
Um, #MeToo isn't political. Again, I refuse to chalk it up to us being dumb or being "surprised" or seeing this as typical behavior for a man who is so heavily in the spotlight. That's when we fail at holding accountability. This is a man with a huge male following of all ages, who cling to his every word and move like they're females during Beatlemania. So, it would make sense that he would not be up to date on any politics, movements or social controversies, right? Wrong. Again.
I do not know who photoshopped the sweater to read "Black is Beautiful." But the original hoodie from this H&M ad made news and received backlash because a black child was modeling the original text, "Coolest monkey in the jungle." Twitter was ablaze, Lebron James posted about it on Instagram, artists The Weeknd and G Eazy pulled their partnerships with the company. This is a social issue. A highly publicized one. Involving people of color. Shit, if that got traction, a movement like #MeToo, created by a black woman, popularized by prominent white women in entertainment and media, outing some of the biggest names in Hollywood and networks, and you are all going to sit there and tell me that Mayweather had no idea? Bullshit. Bottom line? We must all do better. Men. Professional athletes. People who follow those professional athletes. You all have daughters and mothers. If not for your partners, then for them. Those you chose to be a "good" man for, a hero to. Be better for them. Don't brush this shit off. Floyd's "I don't" give a fuck attitude could have affected them if, god forbid, they were ever victims of sexual violence, abuse, and harassment. What's worse and what may hit closer to home for you, your daughter could one day be on the receiving end of a boxer's punch. That image should be enough.
Here are links to the Me Too Movement website and Just Be Inc., the non-profit Burke founded for survivors of sexual violence. As well, here is a link to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) and a link to the NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). They have many statistics on victims and survivors and provide outreach and resources as well.
This opinion is part of Brigette Lugo's column "Imma Rant Real Quick"