I’m guessing former NHL player Mike Danton didn’t receive much ice time when serving 63 months for hiring a hitman to kill his agent; or that Mike Tyson entertained many sparring partners during those three years he was incarcerated for rape; or that when tossing a football around during his 21-month stay for dogfighting, Michael Vick sharpened his skills against the rush of All-Pro linebackers.
This just in: It’s jail. It’s punishment.
It’s not supposed to be comfortable or accommodating. Officials aren’t supposed to be concerned about how an inmate’s profession might be affected by imprisonment. Countless high-profiled athletes have served time during their careers and were made to deal with what are often less-than-tolerable conditions that define most of the jail and prison systems throughout the country.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants out. He is not two weeks into an 87-day sentence at the Clark County Detention Center and has requested to serve out the remainder of his time in house arrest.
His reasoning: In a 35-page motion filed by his attorneys, the undefeated boxing champion contends that while being confined to his cell for 23 hours a day in a locked-down section of the facility, his physical conditioning has deteriorated to the point he might never again be able to fight.
I sure hope his lawyers get paid by the word, because it’s impossible to make this stuff up.
It’s important first to remember why Mayweather is in jail. Instead of facing a trial on felony charges that carried a maximum sentence of 34 years, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence and harassment charges, to essentially beating his ex-girlfriend in front of their children.
Read that last part again slowly.
Punching a woman.
This is not Lindsay Lohan getting house arrest for nonviolent crimes. Mayweather accepted this deal and knew it would come with jail time.
Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa will rule Thursday on the motion for house arrest. It is anyone’s guess as to which side of the ring she will land, given she already failed to do her job in allowing Mayweather to delay his reporting date to fight Miguel Cotto in May, even though at the time of her ruling no contractual agreement with any opponent was in place.
Is it possible Mayweather’s celebrity, which has caused officials to keep him out of the jail’s general population, has in turn led to him to endure harsher conditions than others serving time for a similar offense? Perhaps. This is isolation in its most primal way. This would be brutal for anyone to handle.
But according to the prosecutor, Mayweather’s physical condition is mostly on him, that he won’t eat the food provided or drink the tap water available in his cell, that he won’t find different ways to exercise than his normal routine.
“Where did he think he was going,” prosecutor Lisa Luzaich asked the court Tuesday, “the Four Seasons?”
This is what happens when someone who is in complete control of every facet of his life has such power stripped from him. This is what happens when the entitled are no longer surrounded by the enablers and every word spoken in your direction is that of praise and compliments.
Reality sets in. The bold, dark, depressing kind.
Mayweather is one of the sport’s all-time greats and has always owned an incredibly disciplined approach to remaining in terrific shape, whether training for a fight or not.
To believe 60 days in jail – the amount he would likely serve – would cause irreversible damage to the point he couldn’t again train and fight borders on absurd. I don’t even know how an attorney typed those words without falling over from laughter.
More than anything else, it seems as if Mayweather just doesn’t want to play by the rules set forth.
His attorneys claim Mayweather is being treated unfairly due to the 23-hour daily isolation, that there are ways within the statute for him to serve his time (I’m guessing they mean by returning to his Southern Highlands mansion and refrigerator full of bottled water) in a fairer way, that they are not asking to change the rules for their celebrity client.
That’s good, because Saragosa already did in January by delaying his report date and reinforcing the perception (reality) that Mayweather receives preferential treatment from the justice system because of his celebrity status.
He pleaded guilty to the charges. He took the deal. If the same celebrity that allows him countless perks on a daily basis not afforded most walking the planet has now made things a tad more uncomfortable than others in his place, so be it – or Saragosa needs to immediately send every last inmate across Nevada with a similar offense to house arrest.
Yet another reminder of the judge’s comments in regards to the case in December: “I think a period of time in incarceration will send the right message to the community and to his children that, no matter who you are, you will have consequences to your actions that are appropriate when this level of violence is inflicted.”
On Thursday, we will see if she believes less than two weeks is an appropriate period of jail time.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4618. He can be heard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on “Gridlock,” ESPN 1100 and 98.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @edgraney.