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'I'm half black from the belly button down': Conor McGregor fueled a racism row with his comments last night

McGregor is “doubling and tripling down on racist taunts.”

Mayweather McGregor Boxing Source: Frank Franklin II

THE THIRD STOP of the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather international press conference tour landed in New York last night – and it was perhaps the most eventful one yet.

McGregor has come in for criticism this week following this comment on stage in LA on Tuesday – where he taunted Mayweather by shouting “dance for me, boy”:

Source: MMAWeekly.com/YouTube

The historical connotations surrounding “boy” in America was called out quickly in the US media, as The Washington Post described:

Possibly sensing that he had crossed a line, McGregor quickly changed his comments to, “Dance for me, sir. Dance for me!” However, that did little to allay the negative reception online for his choice of words, especially as some thought McGregor said “son” and not “sir.”

While Twitter users also pointed out that it’s a problematic term

Addressing the criticism on stage at the Barclays Center last night, McGregor said: “I’m half black from the belly button down” – seen from the 2 minute mark on in this video

Source: ESNEWS/YouTube

The full quote being:

All of the media seem to be saying I’m against black people… Do they not know I’m half black? I’m half black from the belly button down.

Followed by this

Using a stereotype about black people to deny racism has stoked the fire even further

The criticism of the “dance for me boy” comments were that they had racial undertones – last night’s press conference took it to the next level for many

The level of controversy being ratcheted up is possibly exactly what the promoters would like to see in the context of a pre-fight hype event, but for some commentators the discourse has gone too far.

Mayweather McGregor Boxing Source: Frank Franklin II

His opponent Floyd Mayweather spoke about the comments after the press conference – and noted that his daughter was on stage at the time

Source: MMAFightingonSBN/YouTube

Addressing McGregor’s comments on racism and his “present for his beautiful black female fans”, Mayweather said:

He totally disrespected my daughter, he disrespected the mother of my daughter, he disrespected black women and he called black people monkeys.
Conor McGregor, you can’t disrespect black women, you can’t disrespect black people period. We’ve been through a lot. We’ve been through a lot.

The boxer was referring to this comment made on Wednesday night when interviewed by Guillermo from the Jimmy Kimmel show

If you can’t see the video, click here

And McGregor addressed Mayweather’s criticism straight after in an interview

Source: MMAFightingonSBN/YouTube

The interviewer from MMA Fighting put the charge of racism directly to the Irish fighter:

If anything I wanted to squash that tonight and have a bit of fun, that was a playful thing. I included the daughter, it’s all fun on my part.  If he is in that mindset, well that’s his business. I don’t care. I know who I am, people who are watching know. If he’s upset and angry then great.

The final stage of the press tour takes place at 7pm on Friday in London.

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More Conor McGregor wore a suit with ‘f**k you’ pinstripes at the Mayweather press conference>

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About the author:

David Elkin

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