By Julie DiCaro–
(CBS) Floyd Mayweather hits women. He hits them viciously, repeatedly and in front of their children. Mayweather has been accused of or criminally charged with seven incidents involving five different women in recent years. He has been convicted of hitting women on three different occasions, the last of which resulted in a 90-day jail sentence. Mayweather’s victims have been outspoken and have described his violent outbursts publicly and in great detail. On at least two occasions, his battery of women took place in front of several witnesses.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Rounding Out The Warmest Weekend Of The Winter
Why then, as sports fans in America have been embroiled in an ongoing debate about the futures of pro athletes like Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson, all of whom have been accused of some form of domestic abuse, has Mayweather escaped public scrutiny? After all, Mayweather has been accused of domestic violence (as well as battery of his girlfriend’s friends and a Las Vegas security guard) more times than Rice, Hardy and Peterson combined. Yet while Rice, Peterson and Hardy have all been forced to spend time away from the NFL and jump through various legal hoops in order to be reinstated by the NFL, Mayweather has continued to be celebrated by the national media.
Last week, Katie Couric interviewed Mayweather ahead of his outrageously hyped May 2 bout against Manny Pacquiao, serving up softball questions that allowed Mayweather nothing more than a platform to deny his history of violence against women. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, an outspoken advocate for pro athletes everywhere accused of domestic violence, has filmed an episode of All-Access at Mayweather’s Las Vegas mansion, which features such hard-hitting questions as, “This is a beautiful house, my man — how many square feet is this?”
To be fair to Smith, he did upset Mayweather by publicly criticizing him back in October. Unfortunately, Smith has yet to confront Mayweather with his history of beating women. Rather, Mayweather was upset that Smith said he thought Mayweather was “ducking” fighting Pacquiao.
So why is it that the mainstream media that has been so intent on milking the domestic dramas of various NFL players has ostensibly decided to ignore Mayweather’s violent history?READ MORE: MISSING: Khoshaba Dikyanos, 84, Last Seen In Lincoln Square
Certainly, money plays no small role in the manner in which Mayweather is presented to the American public. Mayweather’s fight against Pacquiao will cost $89 to watch on pay per view, $99 for HD. Revenue from the fight is expected to exceed $400 million, shattering all previous pay-pay-view records. So while it’s understandable, though not excusable, that HBO/Showtime (who own the pay-per-view rights) continue to whitewash Mayweather’s image, it’s curious why outlets such as ESPN and Yahoo! have also chosen to participate in such an odious pastime.
For his part, Mayweather has had to do nothing to win over the public but sit back and allow the media to focus on what he wants them to see: his ridiculously lavish Vegas abode, his collection of luxury cars, his gold-plated garbage bags full of money. When Mayweather does address his past treatment of women, he offers vague defenses, usually involving blaming the victims and speculating that his accusers are jealous of his lifestyle. He then moves on to more comfortable topics, such as comparing women to cars and publicly accusing them of abortion.
There’s more evidence that Mayweather is a bully and a despicable human being than there is for just about any other athlete on the planet. His (literal) crimes and misdemeanors have been well-exposed and documented for the entire word to see. He refuses to show remorse or even accept responsibility for his tendency to beat women in front of multiple witnesses, including his own children.
If Americans are willing to pay $99 to contribute to the opulent lifestyle of a guy like Floyd Mayweather, we have much, much farther to go than we thought.MORE NEWS: Chicago Speed Cameras To Start Issuing $35 Tickets To Drivers Going 6 MPH Over The Limit On Monday
Julie DiCaro is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. She’s also a former attorney who spent 15 years working on both sides of domestic violence cases. Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieDiCaro or onFacebook. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.