Is Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Setting A Bad Example By Bragging About His Gambling Habit?
In any other part of the country, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. would be in a lot of trouble for what he’s been doing lately. However, because Money Mayweather has a mansion in Las Vegas and seems to spend a lot of his time on the Strip, what he’s been doing lately is perfectly legal. But that doesn’t make it right.
Mayweather seems to have picked a love for gambling—specifically, gambling on the outcomes of sporting events. He won almost $40,000 last week by betting on the second-half line in the Chicago Bulls/Atlanta Hawks game. He won $90,000 on the first-half line of the Duke/Arizona Sweet Sixteen NCAA game last week. He threw 50 stacks on the second-half line in the Cleveland Cavaliers/Miami Heat game on Tuesday night. And he went on ESPN Radio earlier this week to explain that he once put up half a million dollars on a single football game. “Every day,” he said when asked about how often he gambles these days. “You have to find one [game] that you truly believe in and truly feel you’ve got the ups and that’s the one that you load up on.”
We know all this about Mayweather’s gambling habit, of course, because he’s not shy about sharing his victories with the world. Almost every time he hits a sizable or noteworthy bet, he takes a photo of his winning ticket and uploads it directly to Twitter for all his followers to see. Sports blogs then pick up that photo and run with it, leading readers to believe that Mayweather is just as deadly at the casino sportsbook as he is when he steps inside the ring.
The problem I have with this is that Mayweather is only showing off one side of the story. While it seems as if he’s won his fair share of money gambling on sports, he rarely posts photos of his losing tickets. Therefore, it looks like all he does is win—when, in reality, he could be down thousands of dollars right now and we would never know. Like other sports figures who have gotten involved with sports gambling—specifically, Charles Barkley—Mayweather has plenty of money to blow. So if he loses two million dollars today but hits a $30,000 bet tomorrow and throws the ticket up on Twitter, it makes it look like he’s a big winner. He’s not, though, and he’s giving the wrong impression to kids, fans, and anyone out there struggling with a gambling habit of their own.
At some point, this will become an issue for Mayweather. Right now, it’s still a bit of a novelty for fans and it’s helping bloggers fill their pages up and get hits as everyone waits to see what Mayweather will bet on next. The problem is that if Mayweather keeps this up, it’s not going to be funny forever. And he’s going to start getting asked about whether or not he has a gambling problem, much like the media jumped on Barkley a few years ago for throwing a lot of his cash away at casinos.
Far be it from us to tell Mayweather to stop. Or to tell him to spend his money more wisely. Or to donate more of it to charity if he has that kind of cash to throw away. But he should stop promoting his gambling habit for the world to see. If not for himself, then for the millions of people that are looking at his winning tickets and getting the wrong impression about gambling.
Gambling, under the right circumstances, can be a fun way to blow off some steam. It can provide a night of fun and you might even be able to walk away with a few extra bucks as a result of it. But it has also wiped out entire savings accounts, crippled families, and ruined lives. So no matter what he says or does, don’t let Floyd Mayweather give you the wrong idea.