LONDON — Conor McGregor defended himself against accusations that he made racist remarks earlier in the media tour to promote his fight with Floyd Mayweather.
The Irish mixed martial arts fighter insisted that he had not intended to make racists remarks earlier in the press tour, which ended Friday in front of 10,000 fans at the SSE Arena, Wembley in London.
McGregor, who turned 29 on Friday, will fight American Mayweather, a five-division boxing world champion, in a light-middleweight boxing contest on Aug. 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, after his opponent accused him of making racially insensitive comments.
McGregor said to Mayweather at a news conference Tuesday in Los Angeles, “Dance for me, boy.”
During Wednesday’s stop in Toronto, McGregor encouraged the crowd to shout expletives at Mayweather and his family before launching into a nearly 10-minute, profanity-laced tirade. Mayweather mocked McGregor for being less wealthy and answering to UFC president Dana White. Some fans accused McGregor of being racially insensitive when he yelled, once again, “Dance for me, boy! Dance for me, son!” during an exchange.
“If he feels disrespected, he’s an idiot, and f— him as well,” McGregor told reporters at a press conference.
“I think it’s f—ing ridiculous. I don’t understand it. I know who I am as a person. I didn’t really hit right [in New York with his comments]. Most realistic people can see that. He’s trying to sway something by [saying I’m] disrespecting women.
“I didn’t talk about his past. If anything, it was a dirty play on his behalf. You play like that it’s a b—- move and you know that, but it’s done now and lets gets ready to fight.”
Before going on stage for a fan event in London, 40-year-old Mayweather criticised McGregor for his comments made earlier in the week.
“Racism still exists,” Mayweather said. “I’ve got a diverse team. It’s all about treating people how you want to be treated. You have to give respect to give it back.
“He totally disrespected black women, he called black people monkeys, and he was disrespectful to my [13-year-old] daughter.
“I’m not going to stoop that low to talk about his wife or child. There’s certain levels you don’t stoop to or cross. I love everyone.”