It’s been one week since Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin’s office issued a citation recognizing Jan. 17 as a day for boxer Floyd Mayweather, a move that made and makes no sense.
Mayweather was in Oklahoma City that day, taking in a Thunder game and appearing at a post-game reception and dinner in his honor. A press release sent out a week in advance noted that tickets would be available for the latter event—$75 for a meet and greet, $500 for dinner—with an unspecified portion of the proceeds set to go to an AAU basketball affiliate. The night was not billed as a charity event; rather, there was a single line at the bottom of the press release noting the donations, plus a small section of the bottom-right corner of the promotional poster. And the governor’s office signed a citation officially recognizing Mayweather, who has been found guilty in domestic violence cases multiple times against multiple woman and does not seem to have any prior established connections to Oklahoma City or the state of Oklahoma. (A public records search shows that no one by the name of Floyd Mayweather has ever lived in the state of Oklahoma, and there is no apparent evidence of Mayweather spending much time there otherwise or having significant personal ties there.)
Asked about the decision by The Oklahoman, Gov. Fallin tried to emphasize that Oklahoma’s recognition of Mayweather came in a “citation” from her office rather than a “proclamation.” The latter is an official declaration that must pass through the Secretary of State’s office, while a “citation” is the sort of thing her office can issue directly and typically does for events like a wrestling team’s state championship or a citizen’s 100th birthday. An endorsement by the state; just a smaller and less formal one.
That still naturally leads to the question of why Oklahoma would consider Mayweather as worthy of recognition as a winning high school squad or a local centenarian. Fallin claimed that Mayweather’s team submitted the request for the citation because of his charity work in the state—which was, again, a single dinner, not billed as a fundraiser, with an unspecified part of the proceeds going to an AAU organization that is based out of Maryland and has what appears to be a comparatively small Oklahoma presence—and her office signed the request because ... she doesn’t know.
“We try to have several eyes look upon it to make sure we don’t have situations like this happen,” Fallin said of the operating procedure for reviewing citation requests. “In this case, it didn’t work quite the way I would hope it would.”