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15th Jul 2017

Conor McGregor reacts to Floyd Mayweather’s anti-gay slur

Mayweather's team has also released a statement

Darragh Murphy

Was a line crossed amid the chaotic promotional slog turned in by Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather this week?

That’s open to interpretation but everybody is aware of the fact that, in 2017, anything that can even be perceived as racially insensitive or a homophobic slur is going to be picked up by the media.

The majority of the headlines made over the course of the four-city world tour fronted by ‘The Notorious’ and ‘Money’ focused on the supposed racism of the Irishman, who referred to his upcoming opponent as “boy” on several occasions and issued an explanation that was not exactly well thought-out when he tried to get ahead of the story during Thursday’s press conference.

“Let’s address the race. A lot of the media seem to be saying I’m against black people,” McGregor said in Brooklyn.

“That’s absolutely fucking ridiculous.

“Do they not know I’m half black? Yeah. I’m half black from the belly button down.

“And just to show that that’s squashed, here’s a little present for my beautiful, black female fans.”

With that, the Dubliner humped the air and caused even more of a stir.

When the circus came to town on Friday, in London, it was Mayweather’s turn to use questionable language in one of his final tirades against the man he will welcome to the ring in six weeks.

“We’re going to talk about this pussy,” Mayweather roared from the ring in Wembley’s SSE Arena.

“You punk, you faggot, you ho.”

McGregor was asked about those comments moments after fans filtered out of the venue and he spoke to the media in a scrum backstage.

“I actually didn’t even hear that,” McGregor said, in response to a question from Chamatkar Sandhu.

“People are so touchy on words. It’s absolutely crazy. If he said that, I couldn’t give a shit. I think what he’s trying to do was to switch it up and get the people back in his favour. I think it was a bit of a bitch move to try and instigate that on me.

“Everyone with a sane mind that is watching knows what way it is. It is what it is. There were some dirty tactics out there, but that’s what to expect. The fight game is a ruthless business.

“Thankfully and most importantly, there’s a date set.”

Mayweather’s team released a statement immediately after the event in which they explained the use of the term.

“The reason Floyd called Conor the F-word is because Conor called Floyd a monkey,” a representative told TMZ Sports.

“Floyd has nothing against gays or lesbians. Floyd has them on his staff and loves all of them.

“Floyd has nothing but the utmost respect for gays and lesbians.”