April 28, 2015;Detroit Free Press
Floyd Mayweather made a stupendous amount of money, upwards of $200 million perhaps, for pummeling Manny Pacquiao around the ring the other night. Some portion of that sum will presumably end up in the Floyd Mayweather Foundation.
In 2012, the boxer who calls himself “Money” gave $200,000 to the Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas. Other donations have included $255,000 for the Rainbow Dreams Academy Charter School, $150,000 to Habitat for Humanity in Las Vegas, and $115,000 to the Susan G. Komen chapter of Southern Nevada.
But the Mayweather Foundation hasn’t given out very much—$500 in 2013, $40,695 in 2012, nothing in 2011, nothing in 2010, nothing in 2009, and nothing in 2008, though in some of those years, other expenditures of the foundation might have been construed as program services of a charitable sort, such as $100,000 for “Superfest” in Las Vegas in 2009 and $30,273 in “direct aid” in 2008. Reportedly, Mayweather intends to devote himself more to the foundation after he retires from boxing. He has hinted that he might retire with his record, as a result of the Pacquiao victory, at 49-0, just like Rocky Marciano. His sponsorship of a Fight 4 Fitness 5K run in Las Vegas just last month might be evidence of his increasing philanthropic interest.
Mayweather has done other things with his money, some a little weirder and more disturbing, such as sponsoring a “strip-off” for exotic dancers. He might have considered doing something more substantive for women than a strip-off, but that would have required owning up to his record of sexual abuse.
According to Lancaster Online, Mayweather has multiple convictions for domestic battery and violence, though his longest stretch in jail was 60 days for punching and kicking the mother of three of his children in the head as she lay on the ground. There were some in the sports world who actually campaigned against people shelling out the $100 or so to watch Mayweather-Pacquaio on pay-per-view because of Mayweather’s history of domestic abuse. The Orlando Sentinel’s David Shipley described Mayweather’s record in brief but disturbing detail:
“Mayweather’s rap sheet goes back 13 years when he got a six-month sentence for domestic violence and misdemeanor battery. It was suspended and he served two days of house arrest.
“In 2004 he got a one-year suspended sentence after being convicted on two counts of misdemeanor battery against two women. In 2010 he was charged with a variety of felonies and misdemeanors after an incident with Josie Harris, the mother of his three children.
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“The police report said Mayweather punched her in front of two of the children and yelled that he would ‘beat their asses if they left the house or called police.’
“Doctors reported Harris suffered a concussion and bruises to the back of her head. Mayweather faced 34 years in prison. After the lawyers were through, he got a 90-day sentence and was out early for good behavior.”
Read the police report that Mayweather’s son Koraun wrote about having witnessed the beating:
ESPN’s Keith Olbermann refused to cover the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight because of Mayweather’s behavior toward women and advised boxing fans to boycott the fight. But that didn’t stop Clint Eastwood, Donald Trump, former NY Giant and now sports commentator Michael Strahan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anna Paquin, Beyonce, Jay Z, Justin Bieber, Drew Barrymore, Nicki Minaj, Michael Keaton, or Adrien Brody, who were among the many celebrities who didn’t take Olbermann’s advice and showed up to watch Mayweather in person.
The Chicago Tribune’s Shannon Ryan suggested that in recognition of Mayweather’s appalling record of sexual violence, people should give the $100 they would have spent on pay-per-view to watch the fight to the Deborah’s Place shelter, which provides services to victims of domestic violence in Chicago. It doesn’t look like support for domestic violence programs would happen from Mayweather’s foundation, and we’d guess that most domestic violence programs would be pretty appalled to get a check either from him or his foundation. But did any domestic violence prevention or service programs anywhere find themselves getting donations from anyone disgusted with the idea of paying to watch Floyd Mayweather? We’d like to know.—Rick Cohen