Ultimate Fighting Championship star Conor McGregor has made headlines again, this time being accused of racism.
The outspoken UFC competitor, who is set to take on boxing champion Floyd Mayweather in a much-anticipated bout that even, reportedly, has the attention of President Donald Trump, made the comments when he appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in a segment on Wednesday.
The segment was taped after the press conference where McGregor told Mayweather to “dance for me, boy.”
In the interview, Kimmel sidekick Guillermo asked the Irish fighter who would win in a fight, him or Sylvester Stallone’s character in the “Rocky III” movie.
“Rocky III, that’s the one where he had that celebrity gym isn’t it? With the dancing monkeys in the gym and all,” he said, before suggesting that he would win.
The scene he appeared to be referencing was the one in which the character Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, took Rocky to an all black gym where the training fighters were training.
Mayweather said he was “disappointed” in McGregor’s comments.
“I don’t like the fact that he called blacks monkeys, I think that’s totally disrespectful,” he told Sports Illustrated.
“But it’s all about maturity, it’s all about growth and, mentally, he still can be young so my thing is to go out there and do my job. That’s to go out there and fight, not to really worry about racism. But racism still exists. But we have to try and get past that and be positive.”
Some on social media believe the comment showed that McGregor is a racist.
Others thought it was much ado about nothing, and referenced another time the fighter used a form of the phrase on Facebook.
Conor McGregor Facebook post from 2016 where he uses the dancing monkeys phrase. Not racism pic.twitter.com/ZnI8klDE5b
— KALIBA (@KalibaUK) July 13, 2017
Soooo y’all just gonna act like Mcgregor isn’t a racist cause he’s Irish? He literally called the black boxers in Rocky “dancing monkeys”
— ✨Tia✨ (@Da_Homie_Tia) July 13, 2017
Just so everyone knows “dancing monkeys” is a common phrase in U.K./Ireland and has absolutely zero racial connotations. #MacMayWorldTour
— Juddy LPK Ⓥ (@juddyLPK) July 13, 2017
Smfh now I really want Floyd to win. This is unacceptable!
— Matthew Siroskey (@MattyFresh_23) July 13, 2017
But there was more defense of McGregor than one might imagine. Many pointed out that McGregor has referred to fighters of every color as monkeys and that “boy” is a common term in his region.
He’s always called other fighters monkeys and obviously someone posted one of his old posts, but let’s ignore it smh. Not always about race
— BklynRayder (@bkrayder) July 13, 2017
Erm no, saying dancing monkeys is not racist – go be butthurt elsewhere please.
— kararose. (@Kararoseex) July 14, 2017
He was clearly referencing the circus atmosphere in Rocky’s gym for first bout against Clubber Lang. Not actual dancing monkeys.
— Brian Canacci (@Canatch) July 13, 2017
Lol don’t be an idiot. Rocky 2 had dancing monkeys. He mixed up the rocky movies. Stop trying to make a story from nothing
— Jack (@AnnounceAnyone) July 14, 2017
For the record, there are no dancing monkeys in any “Rocky” movie.
But many people believe there is another motive to McGregorand Mayweather’s comments.
Hyping the fight.
Hours after the two men nearly battled each other at the press conference the two were called out for being mistakenly seen getting off of the “same” private plane together, the Mirror reported. Hours later the Mirror corrected the scoop to report that the fighters were on two separate “identical” planes, arriving at the same time.
Another coordinated ruse? You can click here to see the pictures.
Some fans predicted it before the pictures were discovered.
Mayweather and McGregor probably have been flying on the same plane together, sipping Conor’s booze, and talking… https://t.co/Djr8QARsAs
— Jordan Palmer (@JordanPalmer) July 14, 2017
Fraud Mayweather and Connor McGregfraud gonna pretend they don’t like each other as though they don’t share a plane between tour dates ?
— Alex Harker (@alexharker) July 13, 2017
That’s one heck of a tasteless, race-baiting stunt to pull to sell tickets.
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