In the fight for relationship equality, why do we still stand in the corner of an abuser?
It's the fight of the century, maybe the most anticipated fight of all time. Such is the word on the streets. The thing is, I could care less about the fight even though I have much respect for Manny Pacquiao. It's the boy on the other side of the card that really grinds my gears. And it is because of this boy that I refuse to tune into the fight. I secretly want Manny Pacquiao to drop Floyd Mayweather in the first round. Icing on the cake would be that, Floyd could no longer talk because his jaw is wired shut from a Pacquiao blow to the kisser.
Breathe Chris, you'll tell me. Why the hate Chris? You'll ask me. I don't hate Floyd Mayweather and I'm breathing just fine. I do have a significant issue, however, with the reality that he is in the spotlight for reasons other than the jail sentence he deserves for his continuous bouts with domestic violence, pun intended. I do take almost as much issue with the fact that his fight sold out in 60 seconds and will make somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 million from paying fans. It does break my heart to know that so many of those paying customers are people that are rooting for Floyd Mayweather. And finally, I take strong umbrage with the fact that although we claim that equality means something to us, we endorse a man that literally shuns equality with his fists and his anger.
Strictly from a relationship coaching perspective, such endorsements are a major setback. On the other hand, if we were to boycott any fight that helps Mayweather continue to thrive, it would help relationships as a whole.
How? I'll give you three exciting, pound for pound reasons why.
Round 1: When we decide to stop endorsing those who abuse others, especially those in the public eye, it means that companies that otherwise wouldn't care, are forced to act like they care. They'll publicly admonish the person. They'll distance themselves from that person. The money will stop rolling in. This sends a very powerful message. We have not sent that message. In fact, the opposite is true. In the world of teaching people how to treat you, we've taught Floyd the Boy Mayweather that what he's done is a okay. Just ask his accountant.
Round 2: If we had boycotted the Mayweather and Pacquiao fight we would had send that first powerful message. People in the boxing world start talking and we would start seeing PSA's. We'll start having the boxing world putting money aside to aid battered spouses. We'll start having little boys that dream of boxing who view these men as heroes, will now see them with a different perspective. And, as they witness the fate of boys like Mayweather, they will start to separate the violence that exists in the ring from the violence that exists outside the ring. Most importantly, and especially with where football has already gone, we will start changing the perceptions and the conversations about what it means to be a man.
Round 3: When young men grow up to be older men, they will have a different value system. They will attribute different adjectives and traits to the tagline of what it means to be a man. They will see a Ray Rice or a Floyd Mayweather with a default view that these are bad men and not, in fact, men that they should be looking up to. A significant issue we have in the world of relationships is the environmental acceptance or, dare I say, expectations, of how men act or how they are supposed to act. This does not go away if we put money and publicity in the pockets of men who abuse women. But if we fight Round 1 and Round 2 as described above, Round 3 will help us get to a new normal. As angry as some people are that Roger Goodell disciplines people for things that go on in their personal lives, the message it sends is, say it with me, very powerful.
To put a bow around this, relationships and gender roles are very much about the environment, illuminations and movements. Simply put, the environment is what it is until we see illuminations. These are things that give us reasons to think about the environment from different perspectives. Once the illuminations resonate with enough people, movements occur and we begin to see a new normal. Going three rounds with the Floyd Mayweather types creates illuminations and movements that will change the environment. As much as women agree and admit to letting pop culture influence how they view themselves and their roles in love and relationships, sports have the same impact on men. Sports define men as people and those same people end up in relationships, friendships, etc.
As I close out this article, I simultaneously hear Floyd Mayweather dodging questions of his abuse like he dodges punches. And everyone from boys to men, will cheer his greatness in the ring while shying away from standing up against this cowardly bully.
Where do you stand?