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May 04, 2015

Floyd Mayweather & Manny Pacquiao and the celebration of violence against women

Apparently, there was some sort of mult-million dollar sporting event broadcast to the world just the other day. It was a boxing match, a sport where men try to injure each other with their fists. I don't follow boxing, nor do I consider it a sport. The disturbing details surrounding the two boxers, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, do interest me, and should to all of us who are concerned about violence against women.


Mayweather is a man with a history of misogynistic behaviour towards women. This man has been arrested or cited for at least seven assaults against five different women, including an attack against the mother of his children, witnessed by one of them.

Despite the nature of his crimes, he has served only two months of a measly 90-day jail sentence and been fined the amazing sum of $4000. Some say he has paid for his crime and, in the words of some commentators, "moved on." In fact he has done no such thing. His lack of an apology and remorse extends so far that his team banned two female journalists from receiving media accreditation ahead of the grand fight because they had, in the past, been critical of Mayweather's history of violence.

Then there is Pacquiao. Some fans, critical of Mayweather, have supported Pacquiao hoping he can work some suitable revenge. Apparently to some humans, violence can only be punished by more violence. Pacquiao's trainer described the fight as one of "good against evil."

Pacquiao is no friend to women either. Nor to gays. As an elected representative to the Philippine Congress, Pacquiao opposed a bill that would mandate government support for family planning services and contraception. He also cites his faith in God, and the Roman Catholic Church, for opposing same sex marriage. He has described the use of condoms and abortion as "sinful." Denying family planning services to women is a known risk factor for women and family violence. Not allowing women to protect themselves from forced reproductive labour is violence against women.

But back to the glorious match and all that it celebrates. Justin Bieber was there, as were Beyonce, Jay Z, Robert De Niro, Drew Barrymore and Denzel Washington, to name but a few. Violence was celebrated that day. Reportedly, Pacquiao was to receive $120 million for his part, and Mayweather an even more impressive $180 million.

At the end, people cheered as Mayweather raised his fist in triumph. This is the same man who hospitalized a woman after stomping on her and punching her with the very same fist he used to beat four others.

What does this disgusting spectacle of money and violence say about our civilisation? Why would anyone cheer while one man who beats women fought another man who denies them their reproductive rights?

And what are we to do? What can we do?

By Jim Murray. Copyright 2015.

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