My favorite boxer is Rocky Balboa. Sure, he’s a fictional character played by Sylvester Stallone, but outside of Mike Tyson appearing in those Hangover movies, Balboa’s pretty much the only thing I’ve ever liked about boxing. That is until this Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor fight.
Here we have two outspoken fighters who are willing to pummel each other on live television for millions of dollars. What’s there not to like? Sure, Mayweather may be a bit flamboyant and woman abuser and is probably at a second-grade reading level (no offense to second-graders out there), but thankfully, what recent press events have shown is that McGregor is a full-fledged racist. And, finally, more people are calling him out about it.
In a conversation with someone, I discussed McGregor and his “Dance for me, boy” comments. And to my shock, just like Mayweather’s father, this person didn’t think McGregor’s comments were racist. Yes, my side eye was twitching. The person (who shall not be named) excused the comment by saying that maybe McGregor probably didn’t understand the context in which he was using it, basically because he’s from Ireland.
Ahh ... good ol’ Ireland. See, here’s the thing about Ireland: Racism is rampant there.
In a 2014 study from Enar, the European Network Against Racism (Ireland), it cited over 182 incidents of racist verbal abuse, violence, discrimination and other attacks toward Africans living in the country. And racism is also rampant in McGregor’s history of taunts and attempts to be “witty.”
It’s not just McGregor’s Tuesday press conference where he said, “Dance for me, boy!” It also happened in 2016 when McGregor called Nate Diaz a “cholo gangster from the hood.”
And when McGregor told Brazilian fighter Jose Aldo, “I own this town, I own Rio de Janeiro. I would invade his favela on horseback and would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work, but we’re in a new time, so I’ll whoop his ass instead.”
And then, Wednesday night, McGregor pulled out his “Dance for me, boy!” line again while Mayweather just sat back and watched.
It seems as though everyone but McGregor gets the racial undertones of not only calling a black man “boy” but also telling one to dance, as if he’s some type of court jester.
Sure, smack talk exists in boxing, just like in any other sport, but McGregor has continually taken it to a different level, though there are some who just want to chalk it up to his not being aware. Something tells me he’s aware, all right, and he’s not going to stop. But here’s to hoping that Mayweather knocks his racist head right off his body in August.