The press tour for the upcoming MMA fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor has been a big deal for many into that sport but it has also taken a turn into the ugly with claims of racism and homophobia between the two athletes.
Accusations of racism dogging McGregor after the UFC champion repeatedly referred to his opponent as “boy,” and during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel Live‘s Guillermo Rodriguez. He also joked that he was half-black, “from the belly button down.”
On Friday though a line was crossed especially coming from a person of color when during the tour’s final stop on Friday in London, Floyd Mayweather used a homophobic slur when insulting McGregor. During the exchange, Mayweather calls his opponent a “punk” and a “faggot,” among other choice insults.
A rep for Mayweather later told TMZ that Mayweather only used that language in response to provocation, saying that McGregor had earlier called the boxer a “monkey” off-mic.
“The reason Floyd called Conor the F word is because Conor called Floyd a monkey,” the rep said. “Floyd has nothing against gays or lesbians at all … Floyd has them on his staff. Floyd has nothing but the utmost respect for gays and lesbians.”
However, Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of the group Athlete Ally, which aims to “foster inclusive sports communities,” was not buying the apology. He issued a statement about the incident and the response from Mayweather’s camp.
Athlete Ally strongly condemns the homophobic slur used by Floyd Mayweather. The response given by Mayweather’s representative is equally troubling. If Mayweather truly has the utmost respect for the LGBT community, he wouldn’t resort to using slurs that perpetuate anti-LGBT stigma and hate.
Additionally, if the allegations of Conor McGregor’s racial slur are true, McGregor too crossed an unacceptable line. Resorting to homophobic and racial epithets is shameful no matter how or why one uses them.
Floyd Mayweather calls Conor McGregor a “faggot” pic.twitter.com/9NvRNRPybL
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) July 14, 2017