The four-stop press tour that Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather went on to promote their August fight last week drew a lot of fans and generated a fair amount of controversy. Perhaps the most divisive thing that came up were some claims of racism that were thrown Conor’s way for comments early on in the tour. McGregor then addressed the controversy on stage in New York City, trying to make a joke out of it by resorting to stereotypes.
It didn’t go over very well, and McGregor admitted as much the next day.
But Mayweather was apparently offended, and the controversy has persisted into this week. To the point that McGregor’s father, Tony McGregor, was a guest on The MMA Hour and was asked about the comments. It shouldn’t surprise you that he staunchly defended his son (via MMA Fighting):
“Conor McGregor is not racist,” Tony McGregor said. “This fight is not about race, this fight is about skill and technique. In fact, I don't think any fight is ever about race. The color of skin is immaterial. It’s the victory that Conor is looking for. It's imperative, that’s the only thing I'd say in that.”
“Conor is absolutely, unequivocally not racist,” Tony McGregor said. “It’s not about skin color. No two combatants would ever get into a ring and the issue would be the color of their opposing skin. No, absolutely not. It’s a fight issue, not a race issue.”
Apparently the elder McGregor doesn’t know much about the history of boxing because, unfortunately, race issues have played a prominent part in the building and promoting of the sport for a very long time. This sort of controversy isn’t even a new thing between these Conor and Floyd - over a year and a half ago and long before this fight was talked about, Mayweather pointed at race as a reason why McGregor is embraced while he is reviled for essentially saying the same sorts of things.
The two men will meet in a 12-round, 154-pound boxing match on August 26th in Las Vegas.