It created all of the hilarious, intense, and memorable moments we hoped for. Unfortunately, it also created a few less savoury moments, as some of McGregor’s comments were deemed racist, and Mayweather uttered a homophobic slur.
According to McGregor’s father, Tony McGregor, however, any opinions that the Irish mixed martial artist is racist are inaccurate. The elder McGregor defended his son on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“CONOR MCGREGOR IS NOT RACIST,” HE SAID (H/TMARC RAIMONDI OF MMAFIGHTING.COM). “THIS FIGHT IS NOT ABOUT RACE, THIS FIGHT IS ABOUT SKILL AND TECHNIQUE. IN FACT, I DON’T THINK ANY FIGHT IS EVER ABOUT RACE. THE COLOR OF SKIN IS IMMATERIAL. IT’S THE VICTORY THAT CONOR IS LOOKING FOR. IT’S IMPERATIVE, THAT’S THE ONLY THING I’D SAY IN THAT.”
“CONOR IS ABSOLUTELY, UNEQUIVOCALLY NOT RACIST,” HE ADDED. “IT’S NOT ABOUT SKIN COLOR. NO TWO COMBATANTS WOULD EVER GET INTO A RING AND THE ISSUE WOULD BE THE COLOR OF THEIR OPPOSING SKIN. NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT. IT’S A FIGHT ISSUE, NOT A RACE ISSUE.”
Mayweather, however, wasn’t so sure about some of McGregor’s comments. Speaking to the media backstage after one event, he acknowledged that he absolutely found some the Irishman’s words off-putting.
“HE TOTALLY DISRESPECTED MY DAUGHTER, HE DISRESPECTED THE MOTHER OF MY DAUGHTER, HE DISRESPECTED BLACK WOMEN AND HE CALLED BLACK PEOPLE MONKEYS,” HE SAID. “WHAT I WANT TO SAY IS THIS: I’M PROUD TO BE A BLACK MAN. I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN, AND I LOVE EVERYBODY. AND I HAVE A DIVERSE TEAM.
“YOU CAN’T DO THAT. CONOR MCGREGOR, YOU CANNOT DISRESPECT BLACK WOMEN, YOU CAN’T DISRESPECT BLACK PEOPLE — PERIOD. WE’VE BEEN THROUGH A LOT.”
What do you make of this ordeal? Was Conor McGregor out of line?
This article first appeared onBJPenn.comon 7/17/2017.