Rumors abounded over the weekend that Tom Brady had decided to retire from professional football.
Although unconfirmed, the world waxed poetic about Brady’s legacy and what he means in the pantheon of top-tier athletes.
However, when another media outlet asked who is the greatest athlete of all time on Twitter, the graphic they added had some of the world’s best.
If this is it for Tom Brady, who are you taking? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/zqBgFSPA8V
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 30, 2022
Forgot About “TBE?”
Along with Brady, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Wayne Gretzky, Simone Biles, Lionel Messi, and Babe Ruth were shown as the greatest athletes of all time.
However, the graphic left the self-proclaimed “The Best Ever” off the list, in undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
The slight was interesting because Brady and Mayweather have a storied relationship and respect as two of the greatest athletes ever.
Claressa Shields on being in the gym with Floyd Mayweather this month: "Floyd's in great shape. He was sparring a 21-year-old, he wasn't even always taking breaks between rounds. He can still do whatever he wants inside that ring. He'd give all those guys problems at 147/154lbs."
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) January 31, 2022
Boxing’s former pound-for-pound king is also the king of the cash register and the headlines. “Money” competed between 1996 and 2015, with a one-fight comeback in 2017.
During his professional career, he won fifteen major world championships from super featherweight to light middleweight, including the Ring magazine title in five weight classes, the lineal championship in four weight classes (twice at welterweight), and retired with an undefeated record.
He would usually fight twice a year, May and September, and was Forbes’ highest-paid athlete of any category every year before his retirement.
Why isn’t Floyd Mayweather on here??! https://t.co/3d34oouw2y
— Yaya (@Zgabrail) January 30, 2022
As an amateur, Mayweather won a highly contested bronze medal in the featherweight division at the 1996 Olympics, three U.S. Golden Gloves championships (at light flyweight, flyweight, and featherweight), and the U.S. national championship at featherweight.
Mayweather employs tons of people of color.
From his advisor, Al Haymon, who is solely responsible for the upward trajectory of his boxing career and is the Marvel-style Professor X of pugilism, to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe and the fighters they promote, Floyd is a veritable employment machine.
Claressa Shields with Floyd Mayweather… pic.twitter.com/oeoOnFW1aB
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) January 26, 2022
Building A Future Generation
Gervonta “Tank” Davis is a Mayweather boxing protégé and prodigy that was lifted from the rough-and-tumble streets of Baltimore into stardom and wealth at an early age. Badou Jack, another protege, is a former champion and enroute to becoming one of the best fighters ever due to the teaching and direction being applied by the Mayweather machine.
Mayweather is also a philanthropist.
The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation, founded in 2007, the same year that he established his Mayweather Promotions business, leverages his star power and is dedicated to empowering and promoting adults and adolescents’ social development and advancement.
The foundation is singularly focused on community health and wellness, economic growth and development and impactful youth education. From food drives, a race series, and more, TFMJF provides a beacon of hope worldwide to people in underserved communities, many of which include people of color.
Floyd Mayweather is the master of making people miss 😎 pic.twitter.com/Z9rX9i8ygK
— Roots of Combat (@RootsOfCombat) January 31, 2022
Meet The Bad Guy
Still, the popular narrative is that Mayweather is not a good guy for the many other headline-worthy negatives that have occurred in his life. When he and his father got into a heated verbal spat inside of the Mayweather Boxing Club during the first season of HBO’s critically acclaimed “24/7” behind-the-scenes series, it was deemed a bad look for the Black family dynamic.
Regardless of the two eventually making up and his father replacing his uncle, Roger Mayweather, for medical reasons, those images of the two in a heated personal debate are forever seared into the minds of the world.
You cannot escape the domestic abuse conviction when mentioning Floyd Mayweather’s name. He served a 90-day jail sentence and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service, a 12-month domestic-violence program, and to pay a fine.
According to court documents, the damage was done to his child’s mother and psychologically to the children.
Floyd Mayweather really the goat https://t.co/U27QuofUmV
— Slatticus Finch (@AntsN_HerPants) January 30, 2022
The “Money May” Way
What makes it worse is that Mayweather is very well known for his objectification of women. He routinely parades them around like a flock of peacocks that he disregards just as quickly.
It does nothing to help his reputation and dismiss the memory of the domestic violence charge. And with the opening of his gentleman’s club, Girl Collection, in Las Vegas, it looks as if he has no issue with how his actions create a negative brand towards femininity.
He is one of the greatest athletes and businessmen of our generation. However, unlike Ali, known as the “The Greatest,” Mayweather’s brand is not as revered outside of boxing as a good guy.
As I’m reflecting on Brady’s retirement…most of us really got a chance to see ALMOST every sport’s goat play. Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Michael Jordan, Jon Jones, Usain Bolt. We have had the privilege of seeing some great athletes
— Brent Rice (@bricekcmo) January 29, 2022
Perception Is Reality
The good guy or woman branding is indelibly attached to being the most outstanding athlete in the public’s minds. It is why Barry Bonds was looked over for the Hall of Fame as the poster boy of baseball’s steroids era.
Floyd Mayweather the greatest ever. https://t.co/mDslTLeuaG
— CoachLongMakasi (@Coachlongmakasi) January 29, 2022
The world chooses its heroes, and the narrative is only based on perception, not just the numbers. However, any list that doesn’t include Mayweather on its greatest athletes list is not valid.
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