Mike Trout found himself in a subset of controversy after he tweeted out his support for Floyd Mayweather.
— Mike Trout (@Trouty20) May 2, 2015
The tweet drew fire because of Mayweather’s history of spousal abuse. Trout’s support of Mayweather most probably arises from them both having lived in New Jersey.
The nature of this controversy is part of a much larger conversation in sports about whether or not an athlete’s behavior outside the sport has a bearing on whether or not he can be praised within the sport. The individual nature of boxing heightens the dilemma as fans can not just “root for the team.” It’s probably safe to assume that Mike Trout does not appreciate or validate domestic violence of any sort. Whether or not that invalidates a fans ability to appreciate a boxer’s skill within the ring appears to be something Trout has decided he’s comfortable with. The money he might spend watching the fight is no more or less an endorsement of Mayweather’s private life than anyone who watches the fight because they condemn Mayweather’s behavior and want to see him fail. In either case, Mayweather gets paid.
It’s also possible that Trout was completely unaware of the history of Mayweather’s private life.
Here is an sample of replies to Trout, including one by ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law.
The replies to this are somewhat encouraging https://t.co/bTrafuKV83
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) May 2, 2015
— 賽車俱樂部 (@RacingClubXXI__) May 2, 2015
— Michael Arria (@michaelarria) May 2, 2015
— A to the B (@AaronBrynen) May 2, 2015