Explain yourself boy! Conor McGregor dismisses accusations of being racist at Floyd Mayweather ‘Money Tour’

The MMA star is taking flak from his rival after his ‘monkeys dancing’ comments during their promotional events

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 4:24pm
UPDATED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 11:05pm

Facing mounting criticism over controversial remarks about race, Conor McGregor tried to dismiss the perception that he has mocked black people during a media tour to promote his fight against Floyd Mayweather.

“That doesn’t sit well with me,” McGregor said in a press conference. “I’m very multi-cultured. I’m a multi-cultured individual. I don’t have any ill feelings towards anybody. I don’t even see colour. I just wanted to say something and have a little fun with it.

“I just wanted to address it and play with it in my own little way. It’s stupid and it’s ridiculous and that’s basically what I was getting at.”

McGregor is dealing from the fallout of a comment made in an interview that appeared to be racially insensitive.

In an interview published to YouTube on Wednesday, Jimmy Kimmel Live’s Guillermo Rodriguez asked McGregor who would win a fight between McGregor and Sylvester Stallone’s character in Rocky III.

Rocky III?” McGregor said. “I’m trying to remember which one was Rocky III. Was that the one in the celebrity gym? I can’t remember if that’s the one with the dancing monkeys or not.”

In the movie, there is no scene that depicts dancing monkeys, though there is one where a number of black boxers are shown training in a gym.

During the press conference open to fans at the Barclays Centere, McGregor seemed to address the attention his comments garnered. His response, however, didn’t do much to quell that criticism.

“Let’s address race,” McGregor said into the microphone. “A lot of media seem to be saying I’m against black people. That’s [expletive] ridiculous. Do they not know I’m half black? Yeah. I’m half black from the belly button down.”

Additionally, at each of the previous two promotional events to hype up the fight, the first in Los Angeles on Tuesday and the second in Toronto on Wednesday, McGregor got on stage and told Mayweather: “Dance for me, boy.”

Mayweather responded: “I think that 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 and when I was young, I may have said some things that I shouldn’t have said. But we live and we learn, and you don’t say those things once you get to a certain age because it’s all about growth and maturity. But it’s total disrespect. And today, he came out and did it again. You do not disrespect – I don’t care if it’s white women, black women, white men, black men, Asians, Latina, or Latino – you don’t disrespect people. To get respect, you must give respect.”

Mayweather and McGregor are travelling on the so-called “Money Tour” that is visiting four cities in three countries to promote the fight.

The final event is scheduled to take place on Friday in the London area at the SSE Arena in Wembley.

“There have been some points where, yeah, it became a little uncomfortable,” Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, said. “I don’t have kids, but I could imagine where that would be alarming. Having said that, if you know anything about the two guys, this isn’t WWE, this isn’t family friendly.

“Do I condone all of the language? No. But at the same time, this is combat sports and tempers are flaring. It’s getting heated. And it’s very authentic and off the cuff. I don’t excuse it, but I certainly understand where it comes from.”

The fight is scheduled for August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas