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As Floyd Mayweather prepares for his fight next week with Miguel Cotto, commentators are quick to point out that he will soon be serving time in jail. What they avoid talking about is why he will be incarcerated: Domestic Battery.
Mayweather - who should bank around $30 million for fighting Cotto - will soon be serving 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery charges in order to avoid felony charges. Has this set off a national discussion on athletes who abuse women? Hardly. A quick check of Google News shows these search results:
Mayweather, Cotto: 828 results.
Mayweather, domestic battery: 4 results.
In my search, I was able to find one story about Mayweather's domestic battery: And in it, Mayweather says he isn't guilty and compares himself to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
Mayweather's domestic battery conviction is no one-time affair, either. In fact, one could strongly make a case that "Money" is an unapologetic serial woman abuser. Via Wikipedia:
- In 2002, Mayweather was charged with two counts of domestic violence and one count of misdemeanor battery. He received a 6 month suspended sentence, 2 days of house arrest and was ordered to perform 48 hours of community service.
- In 2004, he was given a one year suspended jail sentence, ordered to undergo counseling for "impulse control" and pay a $1000 fine or perform 100 hours of community service after being convicted of two counts of misdemeanor battery against two women.
- On September 9, 2010, it was reported that Mayweather was being sought by police for questioning after his former girlfriend, Josie Harris, filed a domestic battery report against him. Harris has accused Mayweather of battery in the past, but those charges were later dropped in July 2005 after Harris testified that she had lied and that Mayweather had not, in fact, assaulted her.
- On December 21, 2011, a judge sentenced Mayweather to serve 90 days in the county jail for battery upon his ex-girlfriend in September 2010. Mayweather reached a deal with prosecutors in which he pled guilty to misdemeanor battery in exchange for prosecutors dropping the felony battery charge. Mayweather also pled no contest to two counts of misdemeanor harrasment which stemmed from Mayweather threatening to beat his kids.
Mind you, Wikipedia is no authority on violence against women when it comes to professional athletes. A look at NFL Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown's page doesn't even mention domestic abuse, despite the fact Brown is better known now for his violence against women than his playing or acting career.
Sure, sportswriters and the media are occasionally prone to brief, quickly forgotten moments of navel-gazing as to why the profession ignores violence against women:
“This is in no way meant to diminish Vick’s crime, but it seems fair to wonder why there’s a conspicuous lack of outrage when we hear about athletes torturing women,” wrote Barry Rozner. “And whether a battered woman today matters less than a dog.”
Yes, in the sports writing profession, a dog matters more than a woman. Take yesterday's episode of Friday Night Fights, when the universally acclaimed Rick Reilly interviewed Mike Tyson, and didn't once mention the fact that Tyson is a convicted rapist and well-known abuser of women.
I have written of this subject several times in the past and it is my opinion that American sportswriters either are cowards when it comes to violence against women, or they approve of it. Because Floyd Mayweather is going to jail for battering a woman and all they can talk about is fight predictions. Here's a prediction that will assuredly come true - Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will physically hurt a woman again. And sportswriters around the nation will ignore it again.
Because American athletes better not cheat, or play too aggressively or use performance-enhancing drugs. But beat a woman? Forget about it.
Crossposted at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles