Human rights group urges boxing fans not to watch Mayweather-Pacquiao match
By Michael Walsh
Many sports fans and human rights activists have come out swinging against Floyd Mayweather before his big bout with Manny Pacquiao, begging boxing fans not to spend their time and money watching the hotly anticipated “fight of the century.”
Their reason? The boxing legend’s history of domestic violence.
Mayweather, who has been arrested or cited in seven attacks on five different women, stands to rake in $180 million for a single match on Saturday night.
“Here we have this moment where a very accomplished athlete is also very accomplished in the area of domestic violence,” Lynn Harris, vice president of communications for Breakthrough, said in an interview with Yahoo News. “He is being celebrated as if none of that even happened.”
Breakthrough, a global human rights organization, is encouraging boxing fans not to spend $99 to watch the fight on pay-per-view and to do “literally anything else” instead.
But it will be difficult to pry people from their seats when it’s time for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, one of the most hyped in boxing history. Mayweather is undefeated in 47 professional fights.
Though Mayweather has never been suspended from professional boxing, he has pleaded guilty, been convicted and gone to jail for domestic violence.
Breakthrough says the campaign has reached more than 75,000 on social media (tweets, retweets, Facebook shares, etc.) in under two days.
Harris points out that — before Breakthrough’s campaign — many had already spoken out against the apparent level of “cultural impunity” Mayweather has enjoyed.
“We’re seizing a moment that already exists,” she said. “On the one hand, he has paid his dues to some degree by the letter of the law. On the other, as the fuss began to build even more, so did the ick factor.”
People are already using the hashtag #nomaypac to protest the match.
In a column for the Orlando Sentinel, reporter George Diaz wrote that Mayweather deserved to be beaten to a pulp.
“Mayweather is very good at what he does — undefeated in 47 professional fights. But as a human being, he is one of the biggest losers of all-time,” Diaz writes. “Mayweather doesn’t discriminate when it comes to fighting. He is very good at beating up men, and women.”
Sports commentator and liberal pundit Keith Olbermann is calling for a boycott of the match.
“The choices are about where we as sports fans, where we as human beings, draw the line about domestic violence in this country,” Olbermann said on his ESPN2 show.
Yahoo News global anchor Katie Couric recently asked Mayweather to address the history of domestic violence.
“Did I kick, stomp and beat someone? No, that didn’t happen. I look in your face and say, ‘No, that didn’t happen,’ he 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 a person.”