When it comes to females … even though you can’t drive 10 cars at one time, but … you got people that got 10 cars. So, you’re able to keep maintenance up on 10 cars. So, I feel that, as far as when it comes to females, that same thing should apply. If you’re able to take care of 20, then you should have 20.

Remember: That’s a statement Mayweather made in a promotional movie that he produced. One can only imagine what wound up on the cutting room floor.

Examples of this attitude are easy to find. Consider the case of Josie Harris, discussed above. Mayweather showered her with gifts and allowed her to live in a home he owned. But Mayweather expected to be able to control her. When she had friends he didn’t approve of, he attacked those friends. When she questioned his behavior with other women, they ended up in an altercation that resulted in felony charges. And even after Mayweather had shacked up with another woman (his then-fiancée, the aforementioned Jackson), he expected Harris to continue to abide by his rules about dating. When he found out she was dating another man, his first impulse was to try and evict her from the home. His second was to brutally assault her.

Or consider the case of Jackson herself. After a multi-year relationship, the couple split in late 2013, allegedly when Jackson got fed up with Mayweather’s rampant infidelity. After the split, Mayweather made a display of humiliating his former fiancée. He posted unflattering home pictures online. He claimed to have paid for Jackson’s plastic surgery and mockingly claimed he wanted his money back because “I’m an Indian Giver.” He made a public spectacle of taking back the gifts he’d given her, from a Hermès handbag to extravagant jewelry, and sneered at her supposed financial difficulties. He even took down Jackson’s Instagram page, which he had helped to set up. Jackson replied by creating a new page and explaining that the old one “got erased by a jealous person who spent money to get it done. All because I said NO.”

The crescendo, however, came after Jackson was reported to be dating rapper Nelly. Mayweather blew his top. Unable to lash out physically at Jackson, he (or someone working at his instruction) lashed out as violently as he could online; taking to Facebook and posting a sonogram image of what he claimed were two fetuses that Jackson had aborted. “The real reason me and Shantel Christine Jackson @missjackson broke up was because she got a abortion,” Floyd raged, “and I’m totally against killing babies. She killed our twin babies.” He quickly deleted the post, but then seemed to stand by his statements in subsequent radio interviews. In a lifetime of increasingly repulsive behavior, Floyd Mayweather seemed to have finally reached his ceiling.

Mayweather’s most recent forays into social media have been innocuous compared to the heated war of words with Jackson, but little different in terms of attitude. Last month, Mayweather took to Instagram and posted a missive to all women. “How a women dresses is her advertisement,” it began. “If a female shows half of her body, she’s asking to be disrespected.”

If Floyd Mayweather’s attitude towards women has matured, he is doing a fine job of hiding it.

Throughout this 12-year period of serial abuse and wretched behavior, the sports world and the media have been remarkably silent. Boxing has always been a sport that involved dangerous men, many of whom did bad things outside the ring. What is unique about Mayweather is the degree to which the sport and media have insulated him from criticism.

Boxers from Sonny Liston to Mike Tyson to Bernard Hopkins have had criminal records, which have received varying degrees of scrutiny. But those men were positioned very differently by the boxing establishment than Mayweather is. Hopkins is the OG, the guy who did his time when he was younger and now stays—just barely*—on the right side of the law, while maintaining some allure of danger. Tyson’s volatility was at the very core of his marketability. People paid to watch the uncontrolled rage and fury, and to feel the sense that anything could happen. Liston embodied in the press all that was sullen and evil, whether or not it was true (James Baldwin once wrote that Liston “reminded me of big, black men I have known who acquired the reputation of being tough in order to conceal the fact that they weren’t hard. Anyone who cared to could turn them into taffy.”) For these men, their records were, among other things, marketing tools.

By contrast, Floyd Mayweather is “Money,” marketed as, essentially, the Ted DiBiase of boxing, no hardened street thug but rather a scientific fighter who wears $10,000 suits and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, who collects Bentleys and Rolls-Royces and flies private jets, and who’s touted as a genuinely savvy businessman with unusual control over his own promotion.

The boxing establishment, including its media, has a huge incentive to perpetuate this myth. So, while Mayweather’s jail sentence certainly received a reasonable amount of press coverage, it was not the sort of coverage one might expect—or at least hope for—for a confessed serial batterer. Instead, the media have gone out of their way to minimize the seriousness of the crime, sometimes to the point of questioning its very legitimacy, while continuously portraying Mayweather as a reformed soul in spite of his consistently misogynistic and violent behavior. In so doing, they’ve helped to keep the Money character intact.

The special treatment began before Mayweather entered prison, when he successfully requested that his jail term be delayed so that he could fight on his weekend of choice, Cinco De Mayo. Following the court-ordered delay—purportedly granted because of Mayweather’s economic value to the Las Vegas community—Mayweather somehow contrived to get a license for the fight despite his pending jail sentence. The Nevada State Athletic Commission possesses the power to revoke a fighter’s license for violating any Nevada law, other than minor traffic violations, or if he/she is arrested or charged with a crime of moral turpitude. Mayweather was never suspended, even though he has been arrested and charged with battery, theft, and/or obstructing police on multiple occasions. To highlight how disproportionate this inaction is, at approximately the same time, the commission suspended boxer Julio César Chávez Jr. for nine months and revoked the license of Joel Casamayor, both for the sin of testing positive for marijuana.

The boxing media, too, saw much to commend in Mayweather as he approached his jail sentence. The Los Angeles Times ran a column by Bill Dwyer entitled “It’s been a different Floyd Mayweather Jr. this week,” in which he praised Mayweather for acting “restrained, mellow, almost humble” in the run-up to his final fight before jail. The most important name in boxing journalism, ESPN’s Dan Rafael (pictured here alongside Mayweather), agreed, characterizing Mayweather’s demeanor as “impressive” despite the pending jail sentence for what Rafael referred to as an “incident” in which Floyd “allegedly assaulted” Harris, in spite of Mayweather’s having pleaded guilty to doing exactly that. Rafael concluded the story with several paragraphs of unedited quotes from Floyd and his supporters praising his mental strength, determination, and positive outlook.

When Mayweather was released, the coverage was even more complimentary. Kevin Iole of Yahoo oohed and ahhed at Mayweather’s post-prison physique, comparing him to Mr. Olympia. ESPN’s first coverage of Mayweather’s release came in the form of an AP story that described his offense as being a “scuffle with his girlfriend” (which not only vastly understates matters but mischaracterizes Mayweather’s relationship with Harris). Even the Guardian chose to describe Mayweather’s stint in jail as a mere “distraction.”

Unlike other high-profile athletes who struggled to find work after serving jail time—Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress, for example—a bidding war immediately erupted for Mayweather’s services. The winner was Showtime, which awarded Mayweather with the richest contract in sports history and quickly proceeded to air Mayweather’s self-serving infomercial (which, naturally, contained Mayweather’s one-sided, albeit detail-free, denial of any wrongdoing). Since then, Showtime has continued to unhesitatingly promote Mayweather without mentioning his criminal history—a notable difference from how HBO handled Mayweather when he fought on its network, or even how Showtime handled its coverage of a post-prison Mike Tyson.

Mayweather’s first fight after prison came against a poorly regarded opponent named Robert Guerrero. During a pre-fight press conference, Guerrero’s father (who is also his trainer) angrily referred to Mayweather as a “woman beater.” Using an opponent’s dirty laundry to get under his skin is hardly a novel tactic in boxing; as mentioned, Mayweather had employed exactly the same approach against Diego Corrales, and no one (including then-USA Today columnist Dan Rafael) viewed it as anything other than ordinary gamesmanship. But here the boxing media practically fell over themselves in swarming to Mayweather’s defense. Rafael called it “an unprovoked attack against Mayweather” before launching into an extraordinarily positive puff-piece entitled, “Did time away mellow Mayweather?” in which he quoted a supposedly Zen-like Mayweather saying, “I’ll just say a prayer for [Guerrero’s father],” and repeated Mayweather’s attorney’s absurd and ultimately disproven claim that the boxer had suffered extraordinarily harsh conditions during his two-month stint in jail. Rafael devoted the remainder of the article to documenting Mayweather’s supposed redemption, extensively quoting business partners and allowing Mayweather to deliver an uninterrupted saccharine-sweet soliloquy that encompassed the final two paragraphs of the article. The fact that police were needed to quell an altercation between the supposedly reformed Mayweather and Melissa Brim was notably absent.

It has been more than two years since Floyd Mayweather has been released from prison, and his behavior—and his attitude towards women—seems little changed from before. And yet the media continue to treat him gently and deferentially. The failure of the sports media to ask any of the questions raised by his conduct, let alone hold Mayweather responsible for it, only enables a pattern of behavior to continue.

No one is saying, or should be saying, that Mayweather should be banned from his profession or forced to accept less money than he deserves. But what Mayweather deserves is a function of what he can earn, and what he can earn is tied directly to his public image.

Mayweather today is a hero. He is a star. He has celebrities like his BFF Justin Bieber and even sports reporters hanging out in his gym and helping to model his clothing line. His fights are among the biggest events in sports and the hottest tickets in Las Vegas. The man who once called himself “Pretty Boy” is now the self-proclaimed “face of boxing.” Maybe if people knew the whole story about Floyd Mayweather, that would be different. Maybe people would have some questions about those celebrities and sports reporters who feel so comfortable cozying up to a repeat offender. Maybe people would think twice about wearing a TMT hat or shelling out for an overpriced pay-per-view. And maybe people would stop thinking of Mayweather as Money, the character who’s made so much for so many.

But of course this would be an uncomfortable reckoning for the sport. Why would anybody whose living depends on boxing’s good health want to give its face a black eye?

Daniel Roberts is a longtime boxing fan and occasional contributor to Deadspin and SportsOnEarth. He can be reached at DRobertsIMG@gmail.com.

Photos via Getty and Associated Press.