The Racism and Homophobia Controversy Surrounding McGregor-Mayweather
People love “combat sports”. Because of that, everyone has been following the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather updates with bated breath (if you hadn’t noticed by now). Most agree the four-city “hype tour” was the greatest idea ever and was really achieving its goal, which was not just hype, but an omnipresent reminder that both McGregor and Mayweather are indeed going to fight next month. While increasingly bordering on “a bit too much”, the first stops of that tour were amazing, but you sort of got the feeling that things could quickly go off the rails as the two most cocky human beings on the planet seemed to be upping the level of disrespect towards each other with each passing moment. That gut-feeling ended up proving true at the third stop in New York and the following encounter in London. The tour ended up derailing the entire fight, or at least the interest in it.
After the second stop in Toronto, some has said that Conor McGregor was being racist because he continually called Mayweather “boy”, which is a well-known racial slur that white men have used to use to condescend to black men, especially in the South. Now, considering the fact that Conor McGregor isn’t from the south, but rather from Ireland, his ignorance could’ve been explained away, but instead of doing that, McGregor doubled down in New York by bringing up the controversy, saying he himself was half-black “from the waist down” and by offering a present to his “beautiful black female fans”. He then showed up on Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this week and said the following, in reference to black fighters in the Rocky franchise:
“Rocky III? I’m trying to remember which one was Rocky III,” McGregor said. “Was that the one in the celebrity gym? I can’t remember if that’s the one with the dancing monkeys or not.”
Mayweather was asked in a press conference after McGregor’s comments if he deemed them as racist and said the following:
“Disrespecting my daughter, disrespecting the mother of my daughter, disrespecting black women, calling black people monkeys — it’s totally disrespectful, I have a diverse team, a diverse staff. When I was young, I may have said some things that I shouldn’t have said when I was young. But we live, we learn and you don’t say those things when you get to a certain age. It’s all about growth and maturity.”
However, any moral leverage that Mayweather had was quickly erased, by Mayweather himself, earlier today when he said the following to McGregor after showing that he had run out of ideas by repeating things he had said multiple times at the other stops:
“You’re a punk, f*****, ho!”
At first people expected the press would apply a double standard when it came to Mayweather using a slur against homosexuals, but there has been a pretty strong reaction from the mainstream media condemning Mayweather’s remarks. This isn’t the first time that someone affiliated with this “Super Fight” has gotten in trouble for using that word. UFC President Dana White, who has been on the stage for every stop this week, caused a ton of controversy in 2009 for using the exact same word when yelling at a journalist. Last year Mayweather complained that McGregor was receiving preferential treatment because he was white. McGregor responded, “don’t ever bring my race into my success again,” and wrote how Irish people have been “oppressed our entire existence.”
Hopefully things will soon come back to main reason we are watching this over-hyped spectacle: to see two talented fighters beat the crap out of each other. Either way, everyone can agree that the only guaranteed outcome is that these two “gentlemen” will be making a LOT of money.
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