Thursday, February 11, 2010

Evander Holyfield Allegedly Assaults His Wife In The Name Of God

imageDespite earning more than 200 million in prize money throughout his career, Evander Holyfield is experiencing money problems.  It was reported in the press that he was behind in his child support payments to his 11 children and his house has twice been at risk of foreclosure.   Holyfield has been attempting to re-enter the boxing ring; however, the strain of such massive debt is clearly beginning to effect the two time heavyweight champion of the world.

 Candi Holyfield has filed a protective order against Evander.  Apparently, Candi Holyfield has accused her husband of hitting her in the face, the back of her head, and on her back during the middle of the night.

"He got up and turned the light on and started looking at my face and told me he was sorry, that he knew he shouldn't have done that," Candi Holyfield stated in the petition.

The incident allegedly began because the heat was cut off in the couple's home, and Candi Holyfield attempted to discuss it with her husband.

"He told me that I was only thinking about myself," Candi Holyfield stated. "He started telling me that I needed to start putting God first in my life."

Candi Holyfield claims her husband's abuse against her began six months into the marriage, when she was pregnant with the couple's first child.

"At first it was mainly emotional," Candi Holyfield states in the petition. "There was incidents where he had pushed or grabbed me but it has escalated since 2008."

In 2008, Evander Holyfield allegedly choked his wife in front of the couple's daughter and housekeeper,  Candi Holyfield stated in the petition. Last year, Candi Holyfield said, her husband hit her in front of the couple's children.

The gossip site Mediatakeout.com, relying on reports from Radaronline suggests that the argument between the couple began when Evander demanded to see a cheque stub proving how much Candi had paid in tithing to Creflo Dollars church.

As a former heavyweight champion, any assault by Evander  against a woman would be extremely grievous because the potential for harm is escalated due to his professional training and the obvious biological differences.  It is further damaging that the assaults have allegedly repeatedly occurred in the presence of their children.  Such actions would teach his son that he had the right to react violently and his daughter that violence is a normalized punishment for disagreement. Simply because the children were not harmed, does not mean that witnessing acts of  violence does not constitute child abuse.

This is a man that has made his fortune through violence.  The fact that we have legitimized pugilism in no way changes the effect that it has on our culture.  When violence is celebrated, it supports the idea that it can be justified depending upon the circumstances.  In this instance, Evander allegedly relied upon his religious beliefs as a basis of justification.

image Creflo Dollar is the king of the megachurches and is in no way hurting for money.  Rather than counselling Evander to help him deal with his obvious rage issues, by continuing to expect  tithing, which the man could not afford, he simply added to the tensions in the Holyfield home.   Supporting Creflo’s need for thousand dollar suits and fancy shoes, is not more important than paying child support or ensuring that the home that the Holyfield children live in is equipped with heat and all other amenities.

These megachurch ministers sit like kings upon thrones and do little to help the people that they claim to be ministering to.  Christianity for profit is a perversion at best and considering the historic role that the Black church has played within the African American community, it is destroying not only a place of communion and sanctuary but its fundamental role in encouraging Blacks to speak truth to power.  There can be no truth in ignoring violence to profit financially. 

If Candi’s assertions are proven to be truthful, once again we will have witnessed the terrible intersection of sexism, religion and class.  It will be interesting to see whether or not this terrible incident will receive the discussion that it deserves in the Black community beyond the hideous gossip blogs.   We often spend time talking about the ways that racism is a terrible evil, while failing to acknowledging all of the wrongdoing that continues to happen.  Whiteness may construct all Black men as violent but that should not prevent us from attacking the Black men that perpetuate this stereotype with their behaviours.  The Chris Brown and Rihanna incident may have faded from the front pages; however, Black men continue to abuse Black women and no amount of talk about the racism that we are subjected to as a community, should be allowed to overshadow this very damaging fact.