Does Floyd Mayweather Jr Deserve Fans?
There is no question that Floyd Mayweather Jr is one of the biggest, most well-known and popular boxers in the world. He has had some big fights against some big name guys and he is one of the few fighters who have transcended the sport. He is as much a celebrity as a boxer. His popularity has led to many other non-boxing related opportunities. He appeared on the fifth season of Dancing with the Stars where he came in 9th place. He has also made a few appearances in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and took place in some of their large events. The question though is does he deserve this large fan base?
For me it is an interesting dichotomy. Can I be a fan of someone’s work that I personally dislike? For example, if a band has some songs that I think are pretty good, but I happen to know that the singer from the band is a jerk or a criminal can I still like the song anyway or does the knowledge of the person taint that ability? We see a lot of this in Hollywood. For years legions of people loved Mel Gibson, but then his demons came out and after a couple of ugly public incidents involving alleged domestic violence suddenly his star has fallen. His last few movies have not done well and he is no longer the bankable movie star he once was. Did these incidents reduce his acting skill? Did he suddenly forget how to be a movie star? No. But now we know about him, and many of us don’t like him and that makes us not want to support him.
So then why doesn’t Floyd Mayweather Jr suffer this same fate? Is it because he has worked hard to keep his personal problems under wraps or is it because, unlike Gibson who made a career out of playing cool, fun loving and wild characters that we love Mayweather punches people in the face for a living. Do we hold Mayweather to a lower standard? Perhaps we look to Gibson to entertain us, but also to provide a model of what type of person we would like to be ourselves while we look to Mayweather simply as a guy who appeals to our animal core and we just want to release him from his cage long enough to watch him beat another guy up the put him away again.
What I speak of here are some serious legal issues that Mayweather has recently faced. In September 2010 Mayweather’s former girlfriend Josie Harris filed a domestic battery report against him. Mayweather surrendered to authorities and was released after posting $3,000 bail. This wasn’t the first time Harris had accused Mayweather of battery. In 2005 she accused him of similar charges, but those charges were later dropped when she testified that she had lied about Mayweather attacking her. No such luck this time for Mayweather. In addition to the battery charge he was charged with felony theft for the disappearance of Harris’s cell phone (which she claimed he took from her) as well as two felony coercion charges and a felony robbery charge. If he is convicted of all charges (including the battery and harassment misdemeanors) he could face up to 34 years in prison.
It isn’t like Mayweather had a few drinks and got in a fight with another guy in a bar. He allegedly was unhappy that his ex was seeing someone else and flew into a rage, hitting her in the head and threatening her and his two young children. While I will wait until the jury has come to a verdict to decide if he is guilty or not, he appears he has some serious issues. If this were the first time anyone has said anything about this it would also be more suspect, but with the previous accusations it is starting to look like a pattern is developing.
So can we root for Floyd Mayweather Jr? Can we be a fan of his? Does the fact that he beats people up for a living make it okay to still like him when he allegedly assaults a woman? If these charges were leveled against an A list male movie star that guys career would be all but done. We saw it first hand with Mel Gibson. But somehow Mayweather just keeps moving along and everyone is still clamoring to see him fight Pacquiao. Right now Pacquiao or Ortiz are likely the least of his worries. If he is found guilty he won’t be fighting anyone.
For me it is a simple decision. I was never a huge Mayweather fan, but I never had a reason not to like him. Until now. It will be interesting to see how these charges play out and if they have an impact on his fan base. Is he worthy of fans? I guess that is up to each fan to decide for themself. Personally, I am no longer among them.