Boxer Floyd Mayweather recently traveled to Chechnya — the semi-autonomous Russian Republic which has carried out a year-long campaign of kidnapping, detaining, torturing and murdering LGBTQ citizens — to pal around with the Republic’s brutal dictator Ramzan Kadyrov. But the Floyd Mayweather Ramzan Kadyrov friendship hurts LGBTQ people in the long run.
In a video reposted by TMZ, Mayweather has his arm around Kadyrov and says to the camera (while flashes go off and Kadyrov smiles):
Hey, what’s goin’ on? Everybody that’s on Instagram, you better follow this man right here. This is my buddy, this is my guy right here. And yes, he is a part of the Money Team. I’m in Chechnya right now. I’m worldwide with this. Floyd Money Mayweather.
The Money Team is a Mayweather-inspired lifestyle apparel brand.
What’s with the Floyd Mayweather Ramzan Kadyrov friendship?
Mayweather himself has said anti-gay slurs in the past. While promoting a fight against Conor McGregor in London during July 2017, Mayweather called his opponent a “faggot” and a punk, a word which originally referred to someone who bottomed in prison, whether willingly or not.
Mayweather defended his use of the slurs by accurately stating that McGregor had made a number of racist comments against him in the lead-up to the fight.
Even so, Mayweather’s endorsement of Kadyrov is unwise. Kadyrov has a long history of using physical intimidation, kidnapping and torture against his political targets. And although the two men share a love of fighting — Kadyrov is a mixed martial arts event promoter who disavowed the existence of gay people when interviewed by HBO Real Sports — Kadyrov also uses his Instagram as part of a cultural charm offensive meant to promote himself as a loving, formidable leader and protector of traditional (anti-gay) values.
How the Floyd Mayweather Ramzan Kadyrov connection hurts LGBTQ people
Kadyrov (a man who has multiple videos of himself working out and who is very affectionate with other men) has called reports of Chechnya’s anti-LGBTQ purge a “massive information attack” conducted by international organizations. His agents obstructed investigations into the purge and Russian feds followed suit by shrugging off all reports as insubstantial.
Mayweather’s support makes Kadyrov seem likable and friendly, helping him deflect his deadly and homophobic reputation.