Yeah, I said it. Gervonta Davis is a lowlife, a liar, and an abuser. Full stop.
Back in February of this year, TMZ released video footage showing the 25-year-old professional boxer approaching a woman at a charity basketball game in Miami. The two appeared to have words and suddenly Davis is seen grabbing at her throat and forcing her out of the event.
It was later reported that the woman in question was Andretta Smothers, the mother of Davis’ child. Days later, Coral Gables Police in South Florida issued a press release announcing they had arrested Davis on charges of simple battery domestic violence.
Considering Davis is the protégé of woman-beating Floyd Mayweather, I wasn’t the least bit surprised by his actions. But here is where my disgust for him turned into my disgust with individuals reacting to his behavior.
In droves, men AND women (the latter being the biggest betrayal, to me) came to the defense of Davis with responses that were straight out of the Toxic Masculinity Handbook.
“Well what did she do to him?”
“She was probably out there embarrassing him being a thot.”
“It wasn’t that big of a deal, he just yoked her up a little. He didn’t hit her.”
Um, ex [insert expletive here] scuse me?!
The cycle of abuse that is so pervasive within the Black community is far from just alarming; it can be deadly, especially for Black women. Studies show more than 40 percent of Black women will experience physical violence from an intimate partner during their lifetime. They’re also two and a half more times likely to be murdered by men than their white counterparts.
What is more disheartening is that despite the studies, the number of lives lost to domestic violence, and the horrific trauma inflicted upon Black women, our community still chooses to ignore physical abuse and/or signs of physical violence against women. The incident that led to Gervonta Davis’ arrest stands as a prime example.
Despite the large public crowd and the overwhelming number of men in the area, not one of them is seen on the video throat-checking that 5’5” runt for his actions. Sure, he’s seen on camera being escorted out by security, but not a single “I would never put my hands on a woman” man or “#GirlDad” is seen putting an end to the public humiliation and abuse that Smothers suffered.
As a woman who has personally suffered from intimate partner violence, I speak from experience that any “man” willing to put his hands on a woman, but especially in public, does so because he feels empowered to do so and is certain no one will call him out on it.
This is Abuse 101.
Further, like an abuser, Davis also proved himself to be a liar and a gaslighter. After the TMZ video surfaced, he issued a statement claiming, “[He] never once hit her…Yeah [he] was aggressive and told her to come on.” He also stated, “that’s the mother of my child. I would never hurt her.”
I call bullshit.
If he would never hurt her, he would not do something so demeaning and humiliating to a woman he claims to care about.
Fast forward to Monday, TMZ dropped a newly released video showing a different angle of the February altercation. In this footage, Davis is clearly seen taking a swing on Smothers.
A professional boxer. A man who gets paid buckets of money to lay someone out took a swing on the mother of his child.
Guess his “I’d never hit her” means he’d just simulate doing so. Fact is, Davis has a problem and he needs therapy, jail time, and maybe a buckshot in his ass to fix it. Hopefully this latest video will not be yet another thing swept under the rug when it comes to violence against women.
But then again, considering folks like Ray Rice and Mayweather are still out here collecting coins, I certainly will not hold my breath. Instead, I will just hope and pray that more of us hold these “men” accountable and resist mitigating abusive behavior.
Lives depend on it.