Take a stand against domestic violence

Devon Greene, Assistant Sports Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

We look at our athletes as superheroes and role models, but what should we do when we learn about their troubling personal lives?

Domestic violence has become a larger issue over the last few years with the rising awareness from societal shifts. Yet, when one of our star athletes gets in trouble, we don’t know how to react. In the past, we used to ignore it. Now, in the social media age and the strides in human rights, we’ve taken a larger stand against domestic abuse from our athletes.

The NFL has had the biggest problem with domestic abusers, yet in all of the professional sports, this is a problem that remains to be seen. In the NBA and WNBA, there have been problems with Memphis Grizzlies Matt Barnes, Cleveland Cavalier DeAndre Liggins, Boston Celtic Jared Sullinger and Phoenix Mercury  Brittney Griner. In the NFL, there’s been Dallas Cowboys’ star Ezekiel Elliot, Chiefs’ receiver Tyreek Hill, New Orleans Saint Adrian Peterson, Carolina Panther Greg Hardy, and the list goes on. However, there are two cases that I really want to dive into: professional boxer Floyd Mayweather and Baltimore Raven Ray Rice.

Mayweather is what many people would consider the greatest boxer of all-time. Yet, his troubled personal life has left many souring on the retired professional boxer. In 2001 and 2002, Mayweather pleaded guilty to two counts of battery domestic violence. These charges were brought against Mayweather due to him getting physical with the mother of his child, Melissa Brim. Brim gave a testimony on the encounter and said that Mayweather swung a car door open, hitting her in the jaw, pushed her into the car and punched her multiple times in her face and body.

Mayweather only received 48 hours of community service and two days on house arrest.

The problems continued for Mayweather in 2003. He was arrested and charged once again with two counts of battery for getting in an altercation with two women at a night club. One of the women in the altercation, Herneatha McGill, testified that he punched her in the face and her friend, Kaara Blackburn on the back of the head. Mayweather was convicted of misdemeanor battery and served 100 hours of community service.

Perhaps the most disturbing of the incidents was in December of 2011 when Mayweather got into an altercation with another mother of his three children, leaving her with bruises and a concussion. This was the only time that Mayweather was sentenced to jail time and he received a total of 90 days, which was cut short when he was released in 60.

Mayweather began to hit Josie Harris repeatedly after he looked through her text messages and she admitted she was dating another man. During the altercation, Mayweather uttered the words, “I’m going to kill you and the man you’re
messing with.”

All of this occurred with one of his sons watching. Koraun Mayweather, who was 10 years old at the time, gave a testimony describing the scene to the police.

“I saw my dad was on my mom and my mom said go to the office and my dad was hitting her.” Kouraun said. “My dad kicked my mom and he told me to go in my room but I went to go get my mom’s friend that lives in our back house. My dad knocked on my door to the patio then I opened it and he came in and told me to close the door to the family room. Then I heard yelling and I came out and my dad was hitting
my mom.”

Yet, with all these troubling character issues that we see time and time again with Mayweather, he still has loyal supporters who will defend him in the blink of an eye. Why? I can’t answer that question. The media promotes him every chance they get and he just made over $300 million in a fight against UFC mega-star Conor McGregor and is one of the highest payed athletes on Earth. He’s gotten into spats with female media reporters who have spoken out against him and his past. In his fight with Manny Pacquiao which was the biggest sport event of the year, Mayweather’s camp banned Rachel Nichols and Michelle Beadle from attending the fight. He has even gone as far as denying his domestic violence completely. Nichols grilled Mayweather regarding his domestic violence.

“Everything has been allegations, nothing has been proven. That’s life,” Mayweather said. “No pictures, just hearsay. Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, only God can judge me.”

In another interview with Yahoo’s Katie Couric, Mayweather once again denied his actions.

“Did I kick, stomp and beat someone? No, that didn’t happen. I look in your face and say, ‘No, that didn’t happen,’” Mayweather said. “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.”

He even commented on the incident with Ray Rice, saying that the NFL was far too harsh with their indefinite suspension.

Ray Rice’s case resonated more with the public due to the video proof of him knocking out his fiancé at the time, Janay Palmer, who he later married.

On Feb. 15, 2015, Rice and Palmer were arrested and charged with assault. Rice was later indicted on aggravated assault charges, but Palmer chose to not follow through with the prosecution.  Then on Sept. 8 that same year, the video was released to
the public.

The truly disturbing video shows Rice punching Palmer in the face twice, knocking her out and dragging her unconscious body from an elevator. Public outcry was massive, and on the same day, the Baltimore Ravens released the star running back and he was suspended indefinitely from the NFL. Rice hasn’t played a game since.

What is the difference between Rice and Mayweather? Video evidence. Rice was ostracized in the NFL community and has not taken another snap in the NFL. Mayweather has gone on to continue his massive success, raking in millions of dollars and going down as one of the greatest his sport has ever seen. He’s shown a tendency to be a repeat offender, hitting a total of 5 women in his time; however, because there’s no video, fans and media have an excuse to keep supporting him, to keep promoting him, and to keep throwing money at his feet.

It should not take a video to gain our attention and outrage. We have all the evidence we need to stop supporting and ignoring the actions of domestic abusers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email