The whole sports world was captivated with the supposed “Fight of The Century” in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend. The hated Floyd “Money” Mayweather versus Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. The boxing match was perceived by many as good (Pacquiao) versus evil (Mayweather) in a lot of people’s eyes. There were a lot of boxing fans and casual fans that wanted Mayweather to be knocked out and quite frankly did not care for him in any aspect. Mayweather can be a pretty unlikeable guy to some because of his cocky attitude and the way he throws his money around like it’s nothing. But that was not the main reason that many despise him. Over the years, Mayweather has had a history of domestic violence situations. He even went to jail in 2012 and served 60 days of a 90 day sentence after pleading guilty to domestic violence charges against a former girlfriend. His issues with women have been well-documented and many will never forgive him for that no matter what he has done. And it is because of that, some people want him to fail so bad and some will not even recognize how great of a boxer he is. Domestic violence is wrong and should not be tolerated, but what also should not be tolerated is hypocrisy. The thing that follows fandom a lot these days is hypocritical thinking. For those that don’t pay attention, there are plenty of situations where hypocritical views are used.
The view of sports can be skewed by what others perceive or the morals that a person may feel they have. But often times, those moral clauses in someone are used when they are convenient for them to use them. Let’s take the case of Ben Roethlisberger. He has been highly successful as the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers and he is a multiple Super Bowl winner. But Big Ben was not exactly the picture of perfect character when off the field. In fact, you could say there was a little too much aggression used by him off the field. Roethlisberger has been named in two rape allegations. In the first allegation, Roethlisberger allegedly got one of the hosts at Harrah’s Casino Resort in Lake Tahoe to come to his room because he allegedly claimed that his television was broken. And things reportedly got out of control. While Roethlisberger was never charged for the crime, he did pay a sum of money to settle the case out of court. And with that, he also had the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s lawyer sign a confidentiality agreement to not discuss the matter. Now if you did not do something in that instance, why would you be paying a person a sum after a settlement and why would you have a confidentiality agreement signed by the plaintiff and her representation? It honestly makes it look like Roethlisberger did something and the woman took the money to help make it go away. In the second instance, Roethlisberger was in a club in Georgia and a 20 year-old college student accused him of raping her. Unlike the other one, this one was settled before anything ever really happened. In both instances, it seemed as if Big Ben had done something but he just was not convicted of it. And if you look him, there no one coming at him yelling about his past to him at all. In fact, many seem to have selective memory and forget the trouble that he was even involved in over his career. He is cheered by fans, men and women, and it is like everyone forgot what happened in his past. It is amazing what some can remember when they want to. But Big Ben is not the only one that this happens with.
Michael Jordan was one of the greatest players of all-time. Some even consider him the best player of all-time. Jordan had all his fans in the palm of his hand with each great performance. Jordan won six championships in his career via two separate three-peats. He could do no wrong at all. And in Chicago, there is a statue of Jordan outside the United Center in Chicago. But along with the great things that Jordan did on the court, he also was pretty active off the court. Jordan was married with kids and a wife and seemed to have the perfect family life. It would seem that he would be content with the family he had and the life he had playing basketball in Chicago. But Jordan was actually kicking while he was married. He reportedly cheated on his wife numerous times and made deals to pay these women in “hush money”. Let’s face it: Jordan wasn’t the great role model that he was portrayed to be at all. He was just a great basketball player that had a great marketing touch. And with that he pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes in regards to who he really was. There have been many stories told about his escapades off the court, the money he has lost gambling(reportedly even hours before gametime of a playoff game versus the New York Knicks) and the things he has done like say nothing about all the violence that happens when he releases his shoes retroactively at early times. But what is amazing about all the things that he has done away from the court, many can look past that and still recognize that he is one of the greatest players the world has ever seen and people were cheering for him regardless. And every single time, people line up to buy his shoes and are camping out for someone that has shown not to care about them at all and more about money. But let them tell it, his personal life does not mean that he is the greatest of all time to some. That has no effect on that thought process to them.
Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Jordan are just two examples of players that are great on the field and have ran into some things off of it. But in the instance of both of these, people are able to look past them to still recognize their greatness. And there are both male and female fans that cheered for the things both do and did in their respective sports while looking over their past transgressions. So if this is possible for these two, then why is it not possible for people to recognize that Floyd Mayweather is a great boxer but has issues off of it? It seems like it is said a lot that people don’t cheer for him to win because of his domestic violence past. But these same people are cheering for guys like Big Ben and cheered for Michael Jordan despite doing things that they did not agree with at all. And whether many want to recognize it or not, they are probably cheering for a guy on their favorite teams that has done some things that they would consider reprehensible. Ask some Ravens, Patriots and Redskins fans if they cheered for Donte Stallworth when he played for their teams. Most of them will tell you that they did cheer for him. And most of them will also tell you they know about his past, where he hit and killed a man while drunk driving. Many athletes have done things we don’t agree with, but if we can separate their personal issues, cheer for those players and recognize them as players when they do something good on the field, then why can’t people recognize that Floyd is a great boxer and separate that from his past issues? Honestly, if you are the ones doing this, then that makes you hypocritical. But you are not alone. There are many that are hypocritical as well. And even worse, there are some that have done some things that are similar or worse that are now downing people that have done the same things. There is no excuse for anything any of these athletes have done and there is no condoning it either. But the hypocrisy has to stop. We all get that Floyd is hard to like because of his cockiness and that domestic violence is deplorable. But we all should recognize that he is one of the greats in boxing as well.