RaceSex & Gender

to those cheering for mayweather: beating women is not less of a problem than racism

August 28, 2017
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Saturday night my stomach was in knots watching the flurry of black women and POC celebrating Trump-supporting Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s victory over ‘racist’ Conor McGregor.

“They’re both trash. But Mayweather is black so I’m happy he won.”

If you’re happy an abuser won because he’s black, then why aren’t you furious that a black woman was beaten in front of her children? At best, shouldn’t that equate to neutrality about the McGregor outcome?

This Saturday night, that didn’t seem to be the case. Despite a history of domestic abuse that continues to be swept under the rug by Mayweather, law enforcement, and the conspicuous silence of victims reluctant to speak out, talking his racist shit became more important than the victim of Mayweather’s most documented assault, an incident that saw a black mother being beaten in front of her children by their father.

In this instance, blackness was used as pass or an excuse to ignore someone’s systematic abuse against women. Which…doesn’t make any sense, isn’t morality, and sure as hell isn’t intersectional. 

And as if abusing women isn’t bad enough, it’s entirely relevant to stress the fact that Mayweather is not the average man. He is an (aging) undefeated boxing champion. He is a weapon. His training, skills, and experience have made him one of the greatest boxers of all time. And, outside of the ring, that same person uses those skills against opponents who, comparatively, have zero chance of fairly defending themselves. Black women.

The female victims of Mayweather’s violence have become secondary to Mayweather’s own blackness—even though that identity is shared. This is misogyny—misogynoir specifically—that allows black women to become secondary or non-factors. ‘They’re black, yeah, but they’re women and abuse against women just isn’t as problematic as racism’.

Black Lives Matter, or they don’t. If you don’t care about a black woman’s abuse because her abuser is rich and always wins, you don’t really care about black lives at all.

Symbolically beating racism might’ve felt good at the moment, but it wasn’t without signaling to black and non-black female victims of domestic violence that their pain doesn’t matter. As long as their abuser—be it Trump or Mayweather—keeps winning they don’t matter. 

And again: Mayweather supported Trump.