UFC Champion Conor McGregor Calls Out Floyd Mayweather Over Racism Accusation
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has had enough of Floyd Mayweather. In a press conference on Wednesday, McGregor called out Mayweather over accusations that race was the key factor in the MMA fighter’s success.
“I didn’t appreciate that one bit,” McGregor said at the press conference, which was to promote his fight with Rafael dos Anjos on March 5. “There’s people buried in the desert for less than that. Floyd needs to understand before he speaks who he is speaking about, and that is that.”
This all goes back to controversial comments Mayweather made in an interview earlier this month, in which he declared that McGregor’s popularity was proof that “racism still exists” in sports. In some respects, I could see where Mayweather is coming from, since his argument was that they both have the same brazen, cocky fight persona, yet McGregor is celebrated for it while he himself is vilified. But I think the difference between the two men has to do with the differences in their sports. Mayweather is outspoken in a sport of fairly reserved characters. But everyone has a persona in UFC. McGregor is hardly the only charismatic individual on that roster, so it’s not exactly a big deal when a guy like McGregor runs his mouth. In fact, UFC borders on WWE levels of colorful characters, so he’s not judged as harshly for playing into that role. And yet, even while I think Mayweather might have a point in the disparity between how he’s treated and how a guy like McGregor is treated, it’s not really fair to claim McGregor’s success is due to race when his status in the main event is due to his own fight prowess.
Whether Mayweather has a point or not, McGregor really has no patience for it.
“I think Floyd needs to learn before he opens his mouth,” McGregor said. “You don’t put a man like me in a situation like that. You are putting me in a name that has got to do with prejudice when you don’t know nothing about me.”
McGregor would go on to add, “I am a product of many cultures as a young Irish man. I know he wasn’t saying I am (racist), but he was putting me in that bracket.”
Ultimately, I think McGregor is right to be mad about what Mayweather said, since it was kind of goofy for Floyd to come out and complain about being vilified when he’s made hundreds of millions of dollars by purposely playing the villain. That said, I can’t pretend to argue that race isn’t still an issue in a variety of facets in our culture. So he does have a point about how black athletes are viewed differently. I just think Connor McGregor was the wrong target for this.
But what do you think? Do you side with McGregor or Mayweather? Or neither? Sound off in the comments!
And for more UFC news, find out which fighter topped Yahoo’s list of the most-searched athletes for 2015!