How “The Fight” is actually everything we should be fighting against
We must condemn racism and misogyny at the same damn time. #MayweatherMcGregor did the exact opposite.
I would like to start this off by stating that I don’t care how talented Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor are. My question is, how does that continue to TRUMP everything else they’ve been responsible for? We have to stop Brock Turner-ing and Ray Rice-ing male athletes, and we have to do it now.
To begin, I hate Conor McGregor because he is an insufferable racist — I may not give a shit about professional sports, but I do go on Twitter, and therefore have gleaned that he is a dick. I know he’s made blindingly racist comments about “turning Mayweather into a Mexican” and about how he “can’t be racist because he’s black from waist down” and other worse things. I think he’s a terrible human being who should by no means be given millions of dollars to peddle his brand of toxic white masculinity.
I understand why it was, at the surface level, satisfying to see Mayweather beat the crap out of him, especially in such close proximity to Trump’s election and to the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville. I can’t claim I boycotted it, either. On the eve of the fight, like everyone else, I was drinking on my couch with 3 of my guy friends, Chromecasting it from someone’s Facebook live stream. They were cheering for Mayweather, and I was indifferent/asleep. I felt very complicit and unsettled by the whole thing, and its implications about our society and how we value the people in it. It’s time for all of us, myself included, to wake the fuck up.
When we cheer for Mayweather, we’re perpetuating the idea that women are not fully recognized as human beings, and that their pain is secondary to a man’s success or talents.
As a black man, Floyd Mayweather is also at a disadvantage in our racist and misogynist society. He faces pain, both systemically and on a day-today basis from racist assholes like McGregor. I am in no place, with my own privilege as a white woman, to claim I understand what that feels like, or to minimize it.
I am in a place, as a woman, to recognize a small fraction of the pain that his ex, Josie Harris, feels. For those of you who aren’t familiar — Mayweather attacked her in front of her children in 2010. She was asleep, and he dragged her to the floor by her hair. And it wasn’t the first time, just the worst, the most memorable. He only got 90 days in jail, and now she’s forced to not only participate in joint custody with him, but to see him on TV, throwing punches.
We should not be giving Mayweather a platform to trigger the survivors — Harris and her children, and millions of others who have suffered at the hands of domestic abuse. We should not be giving McGregor the same platform, especially after he mocked the attack for publicity before the fight. He’s the antichrist for that. But that certainly doesn’t make Mayweather Jesus.
And even though McGregor lost, he still got a massive amount of airtime and a couple million dollars. The racist guy lost, but we still made him important in the process. We need to unlearn this. We need to render people like that irrelevant. And we need to condemn domestic abuse.
Conor McGregor and the rest of the white male heteropatriarchy need to be punched — but not in a way that re-traumatizes a black woman. Not in a way that invalidates all women and their right to live outside of the shadow of an abusive male figure.
By allowing the fight to happen, watching it, and supporting it, we enabled both of these men to live out their terrible truth, not only with no repercussions, but with a reward. We reinforced the fallacy that racism and sexism should be fought without any regards for each other. We continued to fail to condemn abusive men, even after we saw what America looked like when one was elected president.
In reality, no one won the fight. We all lost.