Floyd Mayweather has received and earned his share of criticism, but he’s also done some good that can go unnoticed. Monday’s news was the latest example.
According to long-time friend and President of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, Floyd Mayweather is covering the funeral expenses for George Floyd, the African-American man who was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer while three others guarded and/or watched the injustice take place.
According to ESPN’s Steve Kim, Ellerbe said:
“He’ll probably get mad at me for saying that, but yes, (Mayweather) is definitely paying for the funeral.
Floyd’s death and the city’s slow-to-action response has led to unrest throughout the country that has caused peaceful protests, and have descended into looting, rioting, and other splashes of violence. It is a tough time for everyone right now. However, Mayweather’s actions are a bright spot in an otherwise dim period.
According to Ellerbe, this sort of gesture is nothing new for Mayweather, though it would appear, it’s not something the undefeated all-time great wants publicized.
“Floyd has done these kinds of things over the last 20 years.”
Mayweather paid for the funeral services of Genaro Hernandez who passed away at 45 from cancer in 2011. Hernandez was the opponent Mayweather defeated to win his first world title back in 1998. His desire to give back and support the family of a former foe was admirable.
That same year, Mayweather also paid for the funeral of former heavyweight champion and boxing icon, Joe Frazier. After Frazier’s passing, Mayweather did take to social media to offer his financial support.
“My condolences go out to the family of the late great Joe Frazier,” Mayweather said via Twitter. “#TheMoneyTeam will pay for his Funeral services.”
While those acts of kindness were obviously positive moves, Mayweather’s involvement in the laying to rest of Floyd is likely to receive even more attention because of the microscope on the topic around the world. Athletes from all walks of life have been speaking out about the injustices directed at African-Americans and people of color at the hands of law enforcement.
In the combat sports world, two of the UFC’s current champions have been very outspoken and active. UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya participated in a Black Lives Matter protest in Auckland, New Zealand that was captured on social media.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, at least for the time being, Jon Jones was in the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico, his adopted home because it is the location of his training headquarters.
Jones was confronting vandals who were spray painting property and diluting the focus on the message.
Promoters, networks and managers in the sport have also taken to social media and their various platforms to discuss their displeasure with the events that led to Floyd’s murder.
While Mayweather’s gesture isn’t a stance or participation in the protest, it is a more personal contribution to a group that isn’t getting any focus at this point, and that’s Floyd’s family and friends.
Let’s all hope this very ugly situation turns into something positive.