Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr.‘s first joint promotional appearance was meant to drum up excitement for their Aug. 26 fight. But an offensive taunt at the trash-talking event has many accusing the Irish UFC star of racist behavior — again.
As Mayweather Jr. showed off his shadowboxing moves at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Tuesday, McGregor was heard yelling, “Dance for me, boy!” before quickly changing his statement to “Dance for me, sir!”
The verbal jab quickly caught the attention of the Twittersphere, with social media users comparing the taunt to insults used during the slave and Jim Crow eras to belittle African-American men.
“I hope y’all caught McGregor telling Mayweather ‘Dance for me, boy’ and understand how problematic that is given the racial dynamic,” one person tweeted.
Another Twitter user wrote: “I know this isn’t a popular opinion in Ireland but come on lads, we absolutely CANNOT condone this. It’s awful.”
Mayweather Jr. appeared to ignore the comment, although he abruptly stopped shadowboxing after it was uttered. He then made his way over to the podium where he sent a few money-based insults McGregor’s way.
Neither men has commented publicly on the controversy.
This isn’t the first time McGregor has been accused of racism.
Before a 2015 fight with Brazil’s Jose Aldo, McGregor said, “What I really want to do is turn his favela into a Reebok sweatshop. They work well over there.”
In 2016, he called Nate Diaz a “cholo gangster from the hood,” according to the Washington Post.
Along with a slew of verbal shots at Mayweather, McGregor took to the recent press appearance in a suit stitched with the words “f— you.”