By: Sean Crose
Was the mother of Gervonta Davis’ child truly admitting to wrongdoing this past Friday when she claimed she shouldn’t have called 9-1-1 earlier in the week to report that Davis had attacked her? Or was she simply behaving like so many abuse victims do by ultimately defending the person who harms her? Boxing fans and analysts have their opinions, of course, but no one save the parties involved and law enforcement officials know the truth. As has already been asserted online, those who like Davis will most likely defend Davis while those who don’t will, at the very least, remain suspicious.
And what about Tyson Fury? Is the heavyweight kingpin now truly banned from the United States for his association with a reputed international crime figure? Again, we don’t know. Crime figures have certainly been known to have their hooks in the fight game. Yet only Fury, those close to him, the criminal organization he’s accused of being associated with, and international law enforcement officials know for sure. As with Davis, those who like Fury will most likely defend Fury while those who don’t will, at the very least, remain suspicious. As Kurt Vonnegut might say: “So it goes.”
The one indisputable fact is that fighters like Davis, Fury, and others have a history of finding themselves in one form of trouble or another. With Davis it’s for the reported mistreatment of women (and involvement in a hit and run incident). With Fury it’s his reported choice of associates and putting garbage into his system that he knew full well shouldn’t have been there. When I teach my college students about certain writers I often bring up the fact that it’s sometimes wise to separate the author from the work. It’s not impossible to do when it comes to the arts – but boxing is a different story.
Who, after all, wants to cheer on someone they believe is an abuser of women? Or a cheat? Or an all around menace? Of course most people are free to cheer on who they want for whatever reason they want. Those of us who write, blog, or podcast about the sport however, should try to attain some degree of objectivity when it comes to these matters. Why? Because we usually don’t know for sure what the truth is – or at least the proof isn’t there that we do. That doesn’t mean we can’t have our private opinions (I certainly do), but if we’re possibly influencing others with our words, the smart thing – and the right thing – is to try to keep things neutral while at the same time bringing up all pertinent information. It ain’t easy to do, but it’s necessary.
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