It banned Floyd Mayweather from entering the country.
The decision came just days after Rosie Batty, of whom domestic violence has extracted an unimaginable toll, was named Australian of the Year.
And it followed a petition by Angela Burrows, a crisis worker at a women’s shelter in Townsville, which garnered more than 45,000 signatures.
Floyd Mayweather is the world’s highest paid athlete. He’s made around $420 million from beating the crap out of other people. He’s had 47 professional fights and won every single one of them.
He likes his work so much he takes it home with him.
Over the past twelve years, Floyd has faced multiple counts of domestic violence and battery. Police have been called to seven reported assaults on five women.
He’s received three suspended sentences, served two days of house arrest, been ordered to do community service, impulse control counselling and a domestic violence program and copped a $3,500 fine. All slap on the wrist stuff.
And he’s done actual prison time. Not much, considering. Two months of a three-month sentence, which he plea bargained down from a potentially much longer stay in the big house. That was for beating up his ex-girlfriend in front of their two kids.
So Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said no to Floyd’s Down Under jaunt.
Floyd, who’s never been to Australia before, went and got a fish pedicure, where little fish nibble at your feet, while Sydney publicist Max Markson leapt to his defence.
“Floyd loves to spend,” said Max. “He walks around with a million dollars cash in his pocket, so I think his visit will give a substantial boost to the local economy. He could spend millions here.”
Who knows, maybe he was going to order a submarine.
Besides, said Max, the bloke hasn’t reoffended in five years. “You have to give people a second chance,” he said.
OK, I’m prepared to look into that. Firstly, does Floyd now see the error of his ways? Let’s see what Floyd says.
“Everything has been allegations. You guys have yet to see any pictures of a battered woman.”
Does he speak out against domestic violence? Well, he did speak out when Ray Rice beat his partner in a casino elevator. He spoke out in support of Ray Rice.
“I think there’s a lot worse things that go on in other people’s households,” he said. Like his, perhaps.
And what about his attitude to women? Maybe that’s something that indicates there has been some rehabilitation. You be the judge.
So let’s not go talking about second chances, Max.
When Floyd’s visa application first ran into trouble, Max Markson conveniently announced the boxer would be donating some of the trip proceeds to Reverend Bill Crews’ Exodus Foundation.
The Reverend enthused: “Our charity relies on generous support of the general public and people like Mr Mayweather to provide a safety net to those who need it most.” Which is the first time anyone’s called Floyd a safety net.
Bill’s a good man and has worked tirelessly for the disadvantaged for many years. But it’s disappointing that he’s put his name to this kind of reputation laundering.
We haven’t heard the last of Floyd’s promotional visit to Australia. This website is still selling tickets, with the promise: Floyd will be announcing new dates soon.
Not if we can help it.