Stephen A. Smith isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
With the mega fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao set for this Saturday (May 2nd) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the bout is widely considered to be the biggest of all-time. The PPV buys are currently set at $99, as opposed to the usual $50 and tickets for the event have been listed north of $87,000. The media blitz surrounding the fight has been at a surplus as well, with even mainstream media outlets doing their part to highlight every aspect of the two fighters lives leading up to this point.
Recently, the topic of Mayweather’s history with domestic violence has come to the forefront. Over the years, the champion boxer has had three incidents involving violence against women, most notably the skirmish with the mother of three of his children back in 2011. That incident in particular led to Floyd pleading guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery domestic violence and no contest to two counts of harassment, landing him 90 days in jail, of which he served two months.
Many pundits have expressed their displeasure that the undefeated fighter is being so celebrated in the media prior to this fight, and the fallout has been swift considering that others have begun to echo this sentiment. Longtime Mayweather supporter Stephen A. Smith feels otherwise. On this mornings episode of ESPN First Take, Smith gave his opinion on Floyd’s sketchy past citing that observers should focus more on what makes Floyd relevant as opposed to his personal life.
You can complain and draw attention to these issues that affect Floyd Mayweather just like it affected Mike Tyson. In the end, once the court of law has dealt with them, in whatever way they choose, we ultimately get back to why they are relevant in the first place.[…] That’s the reality of the world that we are living in. We all need to just grow up and own up to that reality because they could never be who they are in terms of how they affect us as a society if we didn’t allow it collectively to happen. But we seem to do that in America and then turn around and wonder why others do it as well. I don’t understand that.
Stephen A. Smith is no stranger to controversial topics. Ironically enough, in 2014, he was suspended by ESPN after he made a statement advising women on how to avoid provoking physical attacks from men when discussing Ray Rice’s now infamous incident Yikes!