Floyd Mayweather, the world's richest and most famous boxer is being publicly mocked around the internet for his inability to read fluently. This link summarizes the situation. The incredibly disrespectful embedded YouTube video in that link is at just over 8 million hits since being published last Friday.
This is a huge opportunity for adult education advocates to step into the conversation and talk about the breadth and depth of the need for adult education services in our nation. I'd bet talk shows would book people to talk about this issue. Editorials will get published and read.
I would also love to see people reach out to Mayweather himself to let him know he's not alone. What if Flyod started getting letters from adult learners around the country letting him know that they have the same struggle he does. Maybe he could even become a high-profile advocate for our cause. I run a tutoring program and I'm going to try to put something together as a follow up post to this that would help tutors explain the situation to their students and give them an opportunity to send him some encouragement. I lack the position or experience to spearhead an advocacy campaign to make the most of this chance. Please, those of you with the position and resources required, grab this by the horns.
On a side note: In many ways, Mayweather is a perfect example of a typical ABE student. He's not stupid. He is actually a gifted kinesthetic learner, but this style is underserved in most classrooms. He has found tremendously successful ways to cope. And he's still insecure about his lack of skills. I'd be willing to bet that, like so many of our students, he'd like to do better and is afraid to take the risk and trust someone to help.
Floyd Mayweather, the world's richest and most famous boxer is being publicly mocked around the internet by rapper 50cent for his inability to read fluently. 50cent and Mayweather have already been “beefing” over other things. None of this is very clean or nice. There’s foul language involved. Here are the pieces related to literacy:
8/19: 50cent does the ALS ice bucket challenge: instagram.com/p/r5_T5OsLyC
8/21: 50cent tweaks the ice bucket challenge and challenges Mayweather to read a full page of a Harry Potter book via an Instagram video: instagram.com/p/r9y3DQMLyI
8/21: 50cent posts video on Instagram claiming Jimmy Kimmel will have Mayweather on his show to read Cat in the Hat since Harry Potter is too hard for him: instagram.com/p/r-c6RpML3u
8/22: A New York Radio show airs audio of Mayweather struggling to read promotional blurbs before an appearance he made on their program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vskxj22-1c&list=PLBE10E81ED8B7DB3D
8/27: 50cent posts a fake Love letter from Mayweather full of misspellings on Instagram: http://instagram.com/p/sMOaG5sL4c
8/27: 50cent posts a meme of Manny Pacquiao, another famous boxer that Mayweather has been accusing of being scared to fight. Manny is smiling with the caption “Sends text to Floyd knowing he can’t read”: http://instagram.com/p/sOiBTjsL_1
Articles highlighting the literacy need by leveraging this exchange:
Hopefully we can add some voices from adult educators and learners.