And I should feel sorry for Mayweather because…?
*Floyd “Money” Mayweather was put on epic blast last week for his obvious lack of literacy skills. After a clip of the celebrated boxer struggling to read a simple radio promo became public (click HERE to listen), social media ignited into a firestorm of jokes, memes and every type of comical fodder aimed in his direction. There are some who feel his lack of education is no laughing matter, while others–such as myself–feel the roasting is part of his comeuppance.
Before you start offering me goblets of Haterade, I need to be clear that little makes me prouder than to see an African-American male parlay his talents and passion into a successful career. One gander at Mayweather’s impressive resume of undefeated bouts and hefty purses, and even the least interested boxing fan (i.e., me) has taken notice of his accomplishments. There are, however, attributes about the welterweight that cannot be ignored.
Mayweather’s grandiose lifestyle is well deserved, but constantly put on gross display. The flamboyant photos featuring stacks of cash as props, the diamonds, the entourage, the girls…all easily accessible elements for a celeb of his caliber, yet obvious signs of overcompensation. A person that constantly leads with his bank account (his only response thus far to the public shaming), is clearly working hard to fill a void (or many) of some sort. The cat’s out the bag on at least one of his shortcomings.
In addition, Floyd’s treatment of women leaves little to be admired. There is no secret that Mayweather likes to “bring his work home from the office.” In 2012, he served a 60-day jail sentence for physically abusing a former girlfriend in front of their two children; a plausible sentence for a repeat offender who was finally forced to serve time. Earlier this year, he also took it upon himself to post a humiliating photo of a medical report of an abortion that his former fiancee allegedly had. As a woman, I have no respect for Mayweather no matter how shiny his trinkets are.
I wonder if this will serve as an eye-opener to those that look up to Money Team’s leader. Some will applaud his accomplishments despite his illiteracy, while others will hang their heads in shame about it. While we can make valid points on both sides, I pray that Mayweather, a hero to many of our brown boys, will use this ousting as a platform for the importance of education. In a country where according to Pro Literacy Advocacy Group, almost 36 million American adults struggle to read a single paragraph, he can become a shining example of overcoming such a crippling deficiency. Then again, I won’t hold my breath.
Tanya Tatum is the outspoken host of “The Tatum Talks,” a live Blog Talk Radio show focusing on African-American interests. Listen to some of her best episodes here. You can also join her for daily discussions at www.TheTatumTalks.com. Follow her on Facebook and @TheTatumTalks on Twitter.