When Is It OK To Condemn Men For Violence

“The fight of the century” between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has now come and gone so this is a good time to reflect on the fights that I had leading up to it.   Like many men, I spent a good deal of time conversing with my boys about who I wanted to win.  I quickly learned that I was in the minority of my cohort that was rooting for Pacquio and, when pressed to defend my choice, my position usually made mention of the numerous domestic violence allegations that Mayweather carried with him.  I didn’t feel that I could write a blog such as this and then turn around and support a man so intimately linked to violence against women.

This position brought me no shortage of opposition.  Co-workers and friends reminded me that I should not be so quick to judge and their arguments almost always followed two trains of thought.  The first caution was that I am not perfect myself and therefore had no right to criticize another man.  These arguments were almost always accompanied by reference to common infractions that many people engage in such as driving under the influence.  The second caution was that I had no way of knowing if the accusations against Mayweather were actually true.

On the one hand, my boys have a point.  If I were to ever be accused of an indiscretion, then I would certainly want the public to give me the benefit of the doubt.   On the other hand, it sounds to me that we have set a near-impossible standard that must be met before we can pull our support from violent men.  Most of my friends agreed that we should not support violent men; but, to hear them tell it, one presumably has to be a saint who has personally witnessed the violence in question before one can rightfully withhold support.  Mayweather has been convicted of domestic battery on multiple occasions (and against multiple women) so this begs the question of when exactly are we allowed to hold the actions of men against them.  I offer no insightful answers to this question and admit that wrestling with these kinds of questions is a personal struggle.   It may be the case that I should not criticize men like Mayweather but I don’t think that I have to cheer for them either.

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