Why I’m Not Cheering for Floyd Mayweather

by | May 6, 2015 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

It’s official: Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the highest-paid sportsman in the world. He took home $180 million last weekend when he won the so-called Fight of the Century against Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.

But the question remains: Why was Mayweather even allowed in the ring when he is a convicted abuser of women?

The 16,800-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena was sold out for the May 2 fight, and some people reportedly paid $350,000 for a ringside seat. Hundreds of thousands more fans paid $100 each to see the contest from their homes on pay-per-view. And no one knows how much money was made on legal and illegal betting on the fight.

It was the most lucrative boxing match in history—and it will also be remembered for being a shameful testimony of just how low America can go.

It was revolting not only because Mayweather is a known abuser of women, but also because leaders in media, entertainment and sports didn’t penalize him for his crimes. Instead of kicking him out of the boxing ring, they rewarded his sick behavior with millions in cash and a $1 million belt covered with 3,017 emeralds.

Mayweather has been arrested numerous times for battering and abusing women, including his former girlfriend, Josie Harris, who is the mother of three of his four children. In one incident, Mayweather threw Harris to the ground, kicked and punched her and pulled her hair—and their son, Koraun, witnessed it all and documented it for the police.

Mayweather has served jail time, once after he tried to break Harris’ arm and threatened to kill her. He also allegedly pointed a gun at his former fiancée, Shantel Jackson. He was last released from jail in 2012.

Yet today the prizefighter is riding high, celebrated by adoring fans who are willing to bankroll his lifestyle of domestic violence. Shame on any American company for supporting last week’s fight with advertising dollars. Shame on CBS, which owns the Showtime network, for airing the fight and profiting from Mayweather’s abuse. Shame on Hollywood stars who claim they are against domestic violence yet bought front-row seats for this fight.

I don’t care how famous Mayweather is, how big his Las Vegas mansion is or how many Rolls Royces he owns. Shame on anyone who paid to watch a boxer who has used his fists to hit women.

It’s tragic that our nation is willing to ignore the crime of domestic violence just to rake in lots of money from a boxing match.

In my travels I talk with women all over this country who have suffered painful abuse from their husbands or boyfriends. Many of them overlook the violence, or even cover up their husbands’ behavior, so they can appear to be “submissive” wives. (This happens in more Christian homes than we want to admit.) In other cases women fear retribution or financial loss, so they tolerate abuse and even brainwash themselves into thinking violence in the home is something to tolerate.

Mayweather’s girlfriend, Josie Harris, put up with abuse for years. But in 2014 she woke up to realize that her life was in danger. She told a reporter that Mayweather monitored her every move, picked out what clothes she could wear, screened her phone calls and held her as a prisoner in her own house.

And sometimes his famous punches were aimed in her direction.

She told USA Today: “I was a battered woman. … But I didn’t understand what a battered woman was at the time. Now I know I was in a very hostile, dysfunctional relationship and a victim of domestic violence.”

I have been involved in confronting the sin of abuse for many years, and I’ve learned that the cycle of pain won’t stop if women aren’t willing to come forward and challenge their husbands or partners. But they cannot do this alone. We also must have to courage to stand up to abusers and call out their bad behavior.

It’s too bad the greedy American sports industry didn’t have the moral courage to tell Mayweather he wasn’t eligible to compete.

When asked about NFL star Ray Rice, who was caught on video knocking his wife unconscious in an elevator in 2014, Mayweather dismissed the incident and said violence is common in many homes. When questioned by a reporter about his own domestic abuse violations, Mayweather downplayed the evidence and said: “Only God can judge me.”

I hope Mayweather is ready for a knockout, because God is a defender of the abused, and He is certainly no fan of bullies.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project. You can follow him on Twitter @leegrady. His work to protect women from abuse was featured in the March issue of Charisma. Check out his ministry at themordecaiproject.org.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

RECENT ARTICLES

Bill Johnson: Reformers Are Arising to Transform Our World for Christ

Throughout history, reformers have lived with the conviction of the superiority of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform individual lives, communities, and ultimately, nations. Recently I had the...
37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest