Earlier this week, MMA star Conor McGregor drew criticism for saying, "Dance for me, boy," to his upcoming opponent Floyd Mayweather during a promotional event for their August 26 superfight. Many perceived the comment to be racist because of the connotations of “boy” in the United States. Perhaps McGregor, an Irishman, could be given the benefit of the doubt. But to do that, you’d have to ignore the other racist spew that’s come out of his mouth since then.
Responding to the accusations of racism yesterday, the mixed martial artist said he can’t be racist because “I’m half black… I’m half black from the bellybutton down.” He then went on to give “a present to my beautiful black female fans” by doing a few pelvic thrusts.
So, yes, McGregor decided to double down on his racist remarks by displaying even more prejudice. Both of his comments play into the historical sexualization and fetishization of black bodies. He’s reduced both black women and men into sexual objects, attributing the supposed size of his penis to blackness and assuming all black women want to have sex with him.
If you want to go further back, McGregor has a history of racist comments about his opponents. He called Nate Diaz a “cholo gangster from the hood” and 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.”
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