Press Release: Human rights organization takes on boxing’s silence on domestic violence issues raised by repeat, unrepentant offender Floyd Mayweather
Breakthrough’s #NoMayPac campaign reaches nearly 45 million, inspiring sports fans and fraternities to donate rather than tune in.
NEW YORK — On Saturday, global human rights organization Breakthrough targeted “the Fight of the Century” between boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao with a campaign that reached nearly 45 million and urged sports fans to do “literally anything else” other than watch. Mayweather, a repeat domestic violence offender, had never been suspended from participation in professional boxing — and stood to become the highest-paid athlete in professional sports. Breakthrough’s #NoMayPac campaign rallied sports fans to take a stand against societal impunity for domestic violence and helped focus national attention on the power of people and institutions to drive needed culture change.
“Over the past twelve years, Floyd Mayweather has been arrested or cited in seven assaults on five different women,” said Breakthrough Vice President of Communications Lynn Harris. “Not only athletes themselves, but also the institutions of sports and entertainment media, have the power — and the responsibility — to set standards for what our culture does and does not tolerate or glamorize. This time, sports and media moneymakers and powerbrokers failed to send any message that domestic violence is unacceptable. So we did.”
The pay-per-view cost of the fight was $99.99. Breakthrough called on sports fans to donate the money to organizations that work to prevent domestic violence. A $100 donation would cover one-fifth of the average medical cost incurred by domestic violence victims after just one incident of violence — or what the U.S. spends every 0.6 seconds on the impact of domestic violence.
Breakthrough’s #NoMayPac campaign reached nearly 45 million via press and social media.
Campaign buy-in from those pledging to donate rather than watch included some college and university fraternities. “Floyd Mayweather has repeatedly violated the rights of women, and to the men of Delta Tau Delta that is more important than a boxing match,” said Corey Levin, Internal Vice President of Delta Tau Delta, Beta Alpha Chapter at Indiana University. “Our chapter decided to step forward and make the pledge because we felt it was necessary to shed light on a very serious matter. Floyd Mayweather is an incredible athlete, but that shouldn’t be what defines a man. What defines a man is his character and what happens behind the scenes when the cameras aren’t on.”
This semester, Levin and other fraternity members have been working with Breakthrough and MARS (Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault) to drive culture change to challenge sexual assault on campus and beyond.
Following the success of Breakthrough’s #NoMayPac campaign, Breakthrough U.S. Country Director Phoebe Schreiner urges supporters to “continue to call on sports institutions and fans to celebrate athletes who exemplify respect, integrity and good sportspersonship — in the match, in the community, and at home.”
For more information on Breakthrough’s work, click here.
Breakthrough (www.breakthrough.tv) is a global human rights organization working to make violence and discrimination against women and girls unacceptable. Our cutting-edge multimedia campaigns, community mobilization, agenda-setting, and leadership training equip men and women worldwide to challenge the status quo and take bold action for the dignity, equality, and justice of all.