Floyd Mayweather rips Conor McGregor's insensitive comments: 'Racism still exists'
The UFC champion denies racist undertones by saying, 'I don't even see color'
NEW YORK -- For all of the fun Floyd Mayweather and UFC champion Conor McGregor have had slinging insults at each other throughout their international tour,on Thursday.
The two biggest stars in combat sports will meet in a pay-per-view boxing match on Aug. 26 in Las Vegas. And with the third leg of a four-day, three-country media tour complete following a shamefully crass performance from both at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, much of the talk centered upon McGregor's racially insensitive words.
McGregor (21-3 in MMA), a native of Ireland, was criticized for twice hurling the derogatory term "Dance for me, boy" at Mayweather during each of the first two stops on the tour this week. The controversy continued Wednesday when McGregor, during an interview which aired on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," made an inappropriate remark about a group of African-American fighters during a reference to the movie "Rocky III."
"Rocky III? I'm trying to remember which one was Rocky III," McGregor said. "Was that the one in the celebrity gym? I can't remember if that's the one with the dancing monkeys or not."
On Thursday, McGregor continued to irritate Mayweather, who had his teenage daughter Iyanna "Money Yaya" Mayweather by his side on stage, by getting into her face during an anti-Floyd rant and saying, "Sing it for me beautiful Yaya."
After the press conference, Mayweather (49-0, 26 KOs) was asked whether he deemed McGregor's comments as being racist.
"Disrespectng my daughter, disrespecting the mother of my daughter, disrespecting black woman, calling black people monkeys -- it's totally disrespectful," Mayweather said. "I have a diverse team, a diverse staff. When I was young, I may have said some things that I shouldn't have said when I was young. But we live, we learn and you don't say those things when you get to a certain age. It's all about growth and maturity."
The 40-year-old Mayweather, who will return from a two-year retirement, believes McGregor will one day regret his actions from this week.
"It's total disrespect and today he came out and did it again," Mayweather said. "I don't care if it's white women, black women, white men, black men, Asian, Latina or Latino -- you don't disrespect people. To get respect you must give respect. We live and we learn. Like I said before, as we get older we grow and get wisdom and maturity and I guess when he get older he'll probably look back and say, 'I probably shouldn't have said that.'"
McGregor, who turns 29 on Friday, attempted to make light of the racial controversy during his comedic rant in Brooklyn.
"Let's address the race [controversy]. A lot of media say I'm against black people. That's absolutely f--ing ridiculous," McGregor said. "Do they not know I'm half-black? Yeah. I'm half-black from the belly button down. And just to show them that's squashed, here's a little present for my black, beautiful female fans."
McGregor, who gyrated his hips in a provocative and insulting manner after delivering the punchline, took a more serious tone after the press conference when he answered questions from reporters about whether he has taken things too far.
"That doesn't sit well with me," McGregor said. "I'm a very multi-cultured individual. I don't have ill feelings toward anybody. I don't even see color. I just wanted to say something to have a little fun with it. And of course in Brooklyn, New York, I'm a big Notorious B.I.G. fan so I just wanted to play with it and address it in my own little way. It's stupid and it's ridiculous is basically what I was getting at."
Mayweather took the controversy a steep deeper when he broke down what he believes is a double standard in terms of how the media has treated him over the years as an outspoken and wealthy African-American compared to how they treat McGregor.
"Racism still exists. What's flashy -- I've been flashy for years," Mayweather said. "Mink coats, and y'all know I've been driving Ferraris and Bentleys and Rolls Royce for over 20 years. All this flashy stuff, I was doing it. 'Oh, he's arrogant. He's cocky, he's this and he's that. He's unappreciative.' But then you take the same guy who is in combat sports and take my whole blueprint and he do it and they praise him.
"Boy, boy, boy. But these are the things that we don't see. We act like we don't see. But life goes on and I will always stand my ground and believe in what I believe in. I believe in treating everybody fair. I believe that if you violate, we will demonstrate. I believe to truly get respect, you have to give respect."
Mayweather has been no stranger to controversy himself over the years, whether it be serving jail time for domestic violence or being sued for defamation by Manny Pacquiao. But the former pound-for-pound king talked multiple times Thursday about how much he has grown.
Despite being angered by McGregor's comments and actions, Mayweather said he had the poise not to act on it and never allowed the brash Irishman to get into his head.
"He totally disrespected my family. He totally disrespected my daughter. That's my baby," Mayweather said. "He disrespected her. Am I going to trip? No. I still have a job to do and I still have to remain humble and be professional. Humble is knowing where your blessings come from. When he comes to smack my hat or bump me in the shoulder. What am I going to do? Hit him back and get fined? No one is dipping into my money but me first."
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