Sports Op: Floyd Mayweather: Hate The person, Respect The Skills
I don’t like Floyd Mayweather Jr.
I’ve never liked him.
No one wanted to see the man kiss the canvas this past Saturday night more than I. I tend to agree with most that can’t stand him.
However, you lose me when your rationale for bashing him as a fighter is based on his conduct out of the ring. This is exactly what I expressed to someone over the weekend who asked me how I could support a man who beats women given that I myself have a daughter.
First of all, let us take a breath.
For starters, if someone ever did to my daughter what Mayweather is accused of doing to women I certainly wouldn’t need the viewing public to defend my child.
Second, I think that it is a gross over-simplification to conflate someone’s support of what a man or woman does for a living with supporting the person's moral values.
If we did a background check on everybody that we’ve watched dribble a ball, throw a punch, or swing a bat there would be no main event this past Saturday night, no NBA playoff games today, and no sports networks because there would be no sports.
If you extend this moral judgement to other forms of entertainment then you would have no shows to watch and no music to listen to.
Keeping up with the Kardashians is one of the most successful reality shows ever. It’s star, Kim Kardashian is famous for making a porn video which is supposed to teach my daughter what?
As for music: how many of your favorite artists have been arrested for or accused of something unsavory? Did you delete their music from your iPhones? I doubt it.
In fact, the same person who likened my support of a sport to my support of domestic abuse loves to listen to R Kelly, a man who was once accused of having sex with an under-age girl on tape.
Does that mean that she condones pedophilia? Of course not.
Sports fans like myself watched a boxing match on Saturday night, not moral court. I feel for anyone who suffers physical harm at the hands of anyone and I hope that those who are victims of abusers get the help that they need and the justice that they deserve. But, I also believe that a man has the right to earn a living, and to be evaluated on the bases of his job performance not his at home behavior because they are indeed two different things.
Further, I think that we need to stop making Gods out of mere men and start being more diligent about instilling the proper moral values at home instead of expecting those on TV and cereal boxes to do it for us.
It’s okay for a child to want to be like Mike the basketball player but that’s as far as it should ever go.
Again, I am not a fan of Mayweather but his in ring skills are undeniable, his work ethic in preparation for his fights is unmatched, his business acumen, supreme.
Saturday's fight wasn’t even close. Pacquiao was quick, he was aggressive, he seemed to be in top form and still Mayweather made him look mediocre. Floyd was quicker, was the superior strategist, had better footwork, landed more punches, defended himself better and despite Pacman’s best efforts Mayweather controlled the fight from the first bell to the last one.
Floyd put on a boxing clinic that made the “fight of the century” look like a friendly sparring session. A fight so boring that I dosed off on it twice and will probably not watch another boxing match for a very long-time. The above is bad for boxing but a compliment to Mayweather’s in ring abilities.
Reflecting on Saturday's fight I now see Floyd’s delay of this mega-fight as the best thing that he’s done for both boxing and for his own bottom line. Think about it. What if these two had met 5 years ago when we all wanted this fight? What if Mayweather dominated Pacquiao in similar fashion in 2010? No one would be watching boxing today period. What Floyd did was solely keep a dying sport on life support.
When I talk to my children about Floyd Mayweather, I will talk about Floyd Mayweather the boxer and business man, not Floyd Mayweather the superior moral standard.