Irish UFC champion Conor McGregor tried to convince the public he wasn't racist on July 13 during a New York City press appearance by making a sexual racist joke (video below).
McGregor and his opponent, former heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, have been participating in news conferences to promote their Aug. 26 pay-per-view fight, notes RT.
At earlier press appearances, McGregor has told Mayweather: "Dance for me, boy." McGregor also called black men in the film Rocky III "dancing monkeys."
During the New York City appearance, McGregor decided to bring up past reports of his racist behavior: "Let me address the race. A lot of the media seem to be saying I’m against black people. That’s absolutely f***ing ridiculous! Do they not know I’m half-black? Yeah! I’m half-black from the belly button down!"
The MMA fighter also performed some lewd pelvic thrusts for what he called his "beautiful black female fans."
Mayweather took the stage and taunted McGregor: "I don't just smell victory. You know what I smell? I smell a bitch!" The combatants have stirred controversy on Twitter, much of it bad:
"Mayweather vs McGregor is literally a choice between domestic abuse and racism," one person tweeted on July 14. "Can't root for either of them."
Another added: "There's so many things Connor McGregor could have pointed out in Rocky 3... this wasn't an insult to Floyd ... that was just loose racism."
On July 13, another tweeted: "See, Conor isn't a racist... hold.... oh good, a dick joke."
The promotional train wreck continued on July 14 during a London press conference when Mayweather used a gay slur against McGregor, reports Yahoo! Sports: "You punk, you fa*****, you ho!"
At one point, McGregor rubbed Mayweather's head, which harkened back to the old racial stereotype of rubbing a black man's head for good luck.
UFC president Dana White reportedly scolded McGregor for touching Mayweather, who told McGregor: "I ain’t gonna touch you until Aug. 26. I’ll knock you the [expletive] out, punk."
Yahoo! Sports concluded: "With all the homophobic, racist, and misogynistic one-liners that you can think of dominating this media tour, it's probably a good thing that this is finally over."
White defended both boxers during a Showtime Sports broadcast from London on July 15, notes the SB Nation blog MMA Fighting:
I think they've both had their moments, they’ve both had their moments. It’s funny when people say they’ve taken this thing [too far]. These guys are gonna try to knock each other unconscious in about a month and a half. The verbal warfare is a part of the fight, too. But this is a fight — not a croquette game. This part of the deal.
The reality is what’s going on here is just as much of the fight as the fight itself. The mental warfare game, these are two of the best ever to do. Floyd has yet to meet his match physically or verbally. What this is all about is trying to get in each other’s heads and that’s why you've seen this thing escalate to Los Angeles to where we are now.