by Charles Jay
“…..There’s a lot of bad people out there which are trying to shake people up for some money and so on. I really think that in many of those cases, Floyd is a target and has been accused of many of those things and it’s unjustified.”
This is the quote that came from Richard Schaefer, the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions (the promoter of record for Saturday’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz), when it came to discussing the legal problems of the WBC welterweight title challenger, in one of Golden Boy’s “house” publications, otherwise known as Ring Magazine.
Photo by Gene Blevins/HoganPhoto
Well, I’m not going to debate Mayweather’s guilt or innocence in those cases, because I am not aware of the facts. And furthermore, I am not going to deny that there are people who, when presented with the opportunity to exploit a situation, are going to do that, especially if they see somebody has a lot of money. That is human nature, and you can see something about that almost everyday if you scan the news.
But a reality check is in order here. A big, huge, giant-sized reality check.
Anyone who makes mention of who some may “shake people up” (or shake people down, which would be the more correct phraseology) need to understand that the exploitation starts with the target himself.
I have been around a long time, and I have never, ever, EVER seen an athlete flaunt his money the way Floyd Mayweather does. I have never seen any athlete attach his identity to money the way Mayweather does. And that would be the case, irregardless of whether he employed the nickname “Money,” as he does.
That much is so patently obvious when he engages in stunts like he did on a recent episode of “Mayweather-Ortiz 24/7,” when he and his friend 50 Cent simulated a silly phone conversation by holding stacks of bills (I presume they’re hundreds, right, Floyd?) up as if they were telephones.
Of course, that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Mayweather seems to want to make it part of his public relations formula, to the extent that there even IS a public relations formula, that he will routinely go to a sportsbook and bet $300,000 on a football game, or that he’ll wager $100,000 on a single hand of blackjack. He came to Florida a few months and made sure he had not one, but TWO Rolls-Royces parked right out in front of the hotel.
I have no doubt that Floyd is a very earnest high-roller. But there is a flaunting of this rather frivolous activity that promotes the idea that he has very little respect for money, and that is not lost on the so-called “common” man.
Hey, this is a free market, and the guy earned his money fair and square. There’s no dispute there. But a little sensitivity to those who comprise the market might be somewhat judicious. We’re in an economy with plenty of people who actually want to work unable to get a job, and generally it’s through very little fault of their own. I’m not sure it’s a great public relations move to shove your wealth in the faces of those people.
Accordingly, when Mayweather is out in public and feels like he wants to be abusive toward somebody, he should absolutely expect that folks like that are going to look at him primarily as a cash cow; someone from whom an opportunity can be cultivated.
Not that it’s morally right on their part either, but it’s just the way hubris – and response to hubris – works. In other words, what the hell do you expect?
Mayweather’s behavior reached its nadir at a place called the Velvet Room in Atlanta a couple of months ago when he literally lit a $100 bill on fire, simply for the amusement of the gathering around him.
And Richard Schaefer wants to talk about people shaking Mayweather down?
They can all go kiss my ass.
When you “roll” like Floyd Junior does, it’s going to have to come with the territory.