Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Plight of Floyd Mayweather

Via Benjamin McKnight III

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Literally Sports.

Anyone who pays attention to boxing, or sports news outlet for that matter, is completely aware that Floyd Mayweather has been out of commission since June 1st, 2012. And for those who still aren't aware, here is what happened; back on December 21st, 2011, Floyd Joy Mayweather, Jr., was sentenced to 90 days in jail for domestic battery charges pressed by his ex-girlfriend. However, Mayweather didn't go to jail right away; his lawyers reached an agreement with the judge to postpone his term so that he could squeeze in one more boxing match. So, 27 days after beating Miguel Cotto in a split decision to win the WBA Super Light Middleweight title, Floyd began to serve his jail sentence.
     Now, just over two weeks after his time behind bars began, his lawyers are seeking for a change from the solitary confinement that he is currently in to house arrest, according to the Associated Press. Their reasoning; the lack of quality in living conditions, food, and no access to the prison’s workout facilities, as well as his deteriorating emotional state, is putting the rest of his career in jeopardy. Mayweather’s personal physician, Dr. Robert Voy, estimates that Floyd is taking in less than 800 calories per day, which is much less than the 3000-4000 he normally intakes. He also states that Mayweather isn’t drinking enough water, though that is by personal choice; the prison doesn’t give him access to bottled water, and he normally “doesn’t drink tap water.” It has even been claimed that his jail cell, which is 7x12 feet, is “barely enough floor space for pushups and sit-ups;” he can forget about roller skating to whatever part of the cell he needs to get to. The prosecutors have argued that his declining health is all by choice, because he apparently refuses to eat much of the food offered in the prison, in addition to his lack of preference for tap water. Talk about a drastic change in lifestyle.
     From a personal standpoint, I have never been of Floyd Mayweather. He is the type of athlete whose arrogance is far from entertaining, contrary to the likes of Muhammad Ali, and his oh so often ignorant statements, coupled with his reckless use of his money, makes him a living stereotype as a Black man. Regardless of anyone’s like, or lack thereof, for Mr. Mayweather, one thing should be unanimously agreed upon; he deserves the time he got for his offense. Any attack on another person is serious, especially one who is obviously weaker that the attacker, and deserves punishment. In a case like this, though, it doesn’t hurt to wonder how much more time Floyd would have received had he been an Average Joe with a nine-to-five job and a one-car garage. In the past, I have seen other athletes in the past get preferential treatment for a serious offense that would normally garner much more time if the offender wasn’t famous, such as the case of New England Patriots wide-receiver Donte Stallworth. I’ve had multiple adults tell me that “Status is everything,” and that statement always holds true when I read a new story on a celebrity getting in trouble with the law. Heck, even the famous people themselves acknowledge that such statements are true, just ask Oklahoma Raiders defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi.
          I honestly believe that Floyd Mayweather is just experiencing a big culture shock in jail. Thanks to his constant boasting of his posh living space (thank you, MTV Cribs), we all know that he isn’t used to the type of living conditions presented in a prison, much less in solitary confinement. Now he wants out, and his lawyers are fighting to “save his career.” Quite honestly, I think he needs to stay right where he is for the remaining 70-plus days of his sentence. He hasn’t even been in long enough to display “good behavior” and get out early. This has nothing to do with my distaste for Floyd, but everything to do with fairness in the justice system for everyone, from your lower class citizens to the global icons. Our justice system, in most cases, treats our celebrities as if they are above the law, which results in many of them doing things that you wouldn’t see a normal citizen do, like a highway death race. The only way to minimize the foul activity by America’s stars, and show that the American justice system can be fair more often than not, is to treat them like a normal citizen when they screw up. Obviously, those who are big fans of Mayweather want to see him released so they can watch him box again. Just look on Twitter, and you’ll find a large amount of “#FreeFloyd” tweets. But when fandom gets in the way of one’s vision of what’s right and wrong, then there’s a problem. If Floyd Mayweather were to hit my mother, best believe I’d have a big problem with him (that is, if my father didn’t get to him first). So, why in God’s name do I see people saying that Mayweather should be out of jail? He committed a crime, and now he’s serving the time as a result of it. This isn’t a case where there was a faulty argument or lack of evidence that would lead anybody to logically believe that he should be free. It was a clear cut, trial-verdict-sentence case that ended in him being guilty. If the man sitting next to me on the bus were to commit the same offense, I’d want to see him in punished by the law as well; no crime should ever go unpunished.
     At this point, I am very sure that Mayweather is having second thoughts on laying hands upon the mother of his children. Maybe this time behind bars will be a lesson learned for him and teach him not to make the same mistake. Nevertheless, he is not exempt from the punishment as a result of his action. Come August 30th, I’ll gladly watch Floyd Mayweather Jr., walk out of prison as a free man.

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