WATCH: How did McGregor V Mayweather turn into Racism V Homophobia?
Who wins? Nobody. Not them. Not us.
Listen, we get the idea of "smack talk".
Two fighters in the midst of the press tour in the prelude to one of the biggest sporting events in... well... EVER, and before we get to the main event next month, they're forced into a room together and have to try to out-macho each other.
It is all part of the ritual and that is totally fine. Sometimes it is even fun to watch. But there has been something insidiously uncomfortable about the McGregor V Mayweather press conferences, and it all culminated in this tonight in London:
Floyd Mayweather calls Conor McGregor a "faggot" pic.twitter.com/9NvRNRPybL
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) July 14, 2017
Yep, that is a world-famous, multi-millionaire "sporting icon" shouting a homophobic slur at another world-famous, multi-millionaire "sporting icon".
This is following several days of accusing McGregor of using racist taunts, including ordering Mayweather to "Dance for me, boy" and previously describing him as "a Malteaser with eyes".
After days of McGregor fans attempting to defuse the situation, as well as McGregor himself claiming that he isn't racist - by claiming he's "black from the belly button down" (ugh) - it didn't take long for the folks on Twitter to wade in against his remarks each and every time he made them, and the same has happened now for Mayweather's homophobic comment:
Floyd Mayweather just called Conor McGregor a faggot. We've gone there folks. #MayMacWorldTour
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) July 14, 2017
Mayweather calls McGregor a ‘faggot’. Not cool. Not cool at all. #MayMacWorldTour
— Simon Head (@simonhead) July 14, 2017
I hope to god that Floyd Mayweather gets his head took off by Conor McGregor for using faggot as an insult in 2017..???? #MayMacWordTour
— Jack Sims (@ItsJackSims) July 14, 2017
Oops. Mayweather said faggot.
He's homophobic now, right "boy" people...?#MayweatherMcGregor
— Nidge18 (@Nidge18) July 14, 2017
THERE IT IS! Mayweather drops “faggot” finally. It took four days but there it is.
— Bad Left Hook (@badlefthook) July 14, 2017
Each of these guys have millions of fans around the world, and watching them both so casually drop racist and homophobic insults is doing nothing but leaving the biggest dint in the respectability for the sport.
Any black fans of McGregor or LGBTQ fans of Mayweather will all have been left reeling by their comments this week, as they both appear to be in some kind of race-to-the-bottom of respectability, and that is a race that nobody wins. Not them. Not us.
There are practically an infinite number of ways to offend someone without resorting to a specific kind of hate talk, just look at McGregor stirring Mayweather up with his tax talk, or Mayweather going to town on Dana White and the UFC in general. All very entertaining stuff, and none of it offending anyone except those involved.
But bringing in all this other stuff? That's just disappointing to see. And the biggest disappointment? People will still defend it.
There is no defence for casual racism and homophobia, whether it was intentional or just off the cuff or even completely misconstrued. We shouldn't have to defend them for that. We should want them to do, and to BE, better than that.