Yesterday, mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Conor McGregor went on Ireland’s The Late Late Show to apologize for using an anti-gay slur. Two weeks ago, McGregor said fellow fighter Andre Fili “was a faggot, and everyone knew he was a faggot.” The statement was part of a now-deleted video posted to the official UFC Twitter account.
— ✌Curtis✌ (@fuufnf) October 21, 2017
McGregor was upset that his friend and sparring partner Artem Lobov lost to Andre Fili at the UFC Gdansk match earlier in October. An official UFC film crew caught the moment while observing McGregor attempting to comfort Lobov after the loss.
About two weeks later, McGregor went on The Late Late Show to address the controversy.
Here’s what he said:
I have to put my hands up, there. I was watching a fighter, a sparring partner, a training partner, a friend, a brother, who has given his health — his body health, his brain health, everything — to help me prepare for fights; to give my brain health and my body health to entertain the public. So that’s the fighter I was going to watch and support.
And I witnessed him lose a fight in a manner that — and a potential career ending fight — a manner where the opponent was stalling and running away. And I was upset. I was whispering in his ear, and I was speaking on that and I said what I said. And I meant no disrespect to nobody of any of the LBGT community. I didn’t mean no disrespect to that.
Had McGregor stopped there, it would have been a good apology. Unfortunately, he kept talking and made himself out to be the real victim:
I wasn’t even… You’d swear I was talking about or screaming at two people of the same sex kissing. I campaigned when we were trying to get same-sex marriage legalized, I was campaigning for that. It’s another one where things just get blown out and they love to just… Any chance they get they love to throw me under the bus. It’s just one of those things. I’m just saying I’m sorry for what I said and that’s it, and try and move on from it.
This isn’t the first time McGregor got in hot water over his mouth. This summer, before fighting boxer Floyd Mayweather, McGregor used some racist language to taunt his opponent. This time, however, it was Mayweather who countered with the gay slur. McGregor didn’t do a good job of apologizing then either, choosing to double down.
Maybe next time he’ll learn to hold his tongue? We wouldn’t bet on it.