The love of money is the root of all evil.
Sadly, a large portion of the country and the world seems to adore money, to the point that people like Floyd Mayweather and the New England Patriots have such staunch defenders.*
Both parties hide behind the “well, you don’t have any evidence” defense after ensuring evidence wasn’t available by either destroying it or hiding it when the investigators had no way of forcing them to be forthcoming with it. Both parties claim that their accusers simply don’t know what they’re talking about; that their record speaks for itself – effectively, the ends justify the means.
That the undefeated, most lucrative boxer in the world and the reigning Super Bowl champions would both adhere to this policy is disturbing enough; what’s far worse are the fans (and organizations) that exonerate them and justify their actions due to their success in their field.
|The Rule-Breaker||Floyd Mayweather||Tom Brady/Patriots|
|Rules broken||Domestic violence; unwritten rules of boxing about attempting to actually fight.||Videotaping opponent signals; tampering with game equipment to gain an advantage.|
|Excuse||Domestic violence: “You don’t have any pictures.” Boxing: “That’s how to box.”||Videotaping: “Everyone does it; we didn’t think it was wrong.” Tampering: “If you don’t have definitive proof, then we want an apology.”|
|The winnings||48-0 record, hundreds of millions of dollars||Four Super Bowls, tied for the most of any QB/coach tandem|
|The fan defense||“Sure he beats women, but you have to respect his record.” “Okay, maybe it’s boring, but that’s how he wins and what makes him great.”||“Everyone does it (probably does it)!” “The NFL is out to get us!” “Okay, maybe they cheated, but it didn’t provide an advantage!”|
Floyd Mayweather notably uses “there aren’t any pictures” as an excuse for his SEVEN instances of violence against women. Of course, part of the reason no one has the pictures is Vegas’ evidence laws, which enables him to acquire photos after the case is over and destroy it. Of course, Las Vegas has no interest in stopping a guy who brings in a ridiculous amount of money to the town during his boxing matches.
He also produces the most boring boxing matches (calling them “fights” would be grossly misleading), and somehow earns over $100 million for doing so. While many people seem to sensibly be repulsed by an egotist woman-beater in a “sport” where one of the participants is paying his opponent’s salary as well as everyone involved, there are others that revel in Mayweather’s 48-0 record, and say he has to be respected due to his record.
No, he doesn’t have to be respected. Do I have to respect Bernie Madoff for scamming a bunch of people and getting billions? Do I have to respect Stalin for his ability to kill a lot of countrymen? No, Mayweather’s crimes aren’t on that level. However, it’s clear he’s a terrible person who produces a low-quality imitation product that’s more expensive than the real thing. Is that something that merits respect?
Meanwhile, the Patriots seem to have likely cheated for years (this time by tampering with game balls) before finally getting caught in the AFC Championship game last year. Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots have made up excuses, then when the excuses were proven untrue, hid behind the same “no direct evidence” barrier. Of course, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence, but Brady holds the most potentially damning evidence and there’s no way he’s giving it away, just like Mayweather.
But those who love the Patriots have resorted to their old ways – they have experience after Spygate – blaming the NFL for not having the proper procedures in place to prevent this, claiming it’s a conspiracy to get them, repeating the “there isn’t any evidence” lie, and most disturbingly, “they would’ve won it all anyway so this doesn’t matter.”
I realize that there’s been a separate system of justice for the ruling classes and us common folk at least since the days of Hammurabi (an eye for an eye, except if it’s a freed man or a slave, then you just have to pay a fine). That doesn’t make it tolerable today. Those who have more in life need to be more accountable for their actions, not less.
Stop defending people that subvert the legal process and the rules of the game on an organizational level just because they managed to win. It’s like singing the praises of an adult who beats up five-year-olds because they never lose. Taking advantage of those who are making an honest attempt to follow the spirit of the rules by ignoring them for your own profit is reprehensible.
Scammers don’t have to deal with morality or a conscience; they have nothing but society to help them realize what they’re doing is wrong. We have a responsibility as a society to ensure that they are aware of this – if not to punish them, then to hopefully cause them to reconsider their actions in the future as we hope to produce a level playing field for all of us.**
If you just can’t help giving away your money, at least acknowledge that your respect has value and don’t give it to people who clearly don’t value it.
*I realize that these are hardly the biggest examples of people ignoring rules to profit off of average people; however, my knowledge is more suited to sports than financial institutions or politics.
**In case there isn’t a specific rule about ensuring the field is literally level, you might want to put it in there before the Patriots get any ideas.