OPINION: Mayweather Vs. McGregor Promotion Was Offensive On Every Level
Today wraps up the week long promotion of the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor fight set to take place on August 26 in Paradise, Nevada and on pay-per-view screens all across the world. The promotion tour, which consisted of the MMA fighter and the retired boxer trading verbal jabs with each other, made stops in Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, and London. The tour, which is thankfully over, was offensive on just about every level possible.
For starters, the tour went far beyond promotion and anticipation for a fight and instead, quickly became a reality TV show. Mayweather, in his “Money Team” garb with back-packs full of cash, was one character, and McGregor, sporting floral print pants, no shirt, and a fur coat with a snake embroidered on its back on the last day of the tour, was the other. Both of them were similar to WWE characters.
Boxers can have personalities, in fact, having a personality should be encouraged. But what boxers shouldn’t be, and what these two fighters appear to be, are cartoon characters that everyone is laughing at – and will laugh at still while one, or both of them, are getting their faces beaten in.
Boxing and promotion go hand-in-hand. The two have a long and storied history together and good promotion makes for some of the sport’s best stories. And while promotion of the past and promotors of the past (think Don King) would never be described as subtle, compared to the recent promotion of Mayweather and McGregor, King might as well be described as a butterfly.
The biggest difference between the “classic” promotions and the current state of reality TV promotion is any semblance of wit and self-awareness. Boxers of the past appeared to have an acute sense of self-awareness while promoting that made their trash-talk lovable. But the four days of talk between McGregor and Mayweather was tasteless and most of the time, the fighters appeared to believe what they were saying down to their very core.
Unfortunately, but predictably, this tour has also brought about some ugly racial sentiments. Both McGregor and Mayweather have spouted unintelligent blabber at each other over the past several days but still, Mayweather is described in less flattering terms. Fans have unexpectedly flocked to McGregor’s side, who has harped on Mayweather’s illiteracy – both of the written word and financially. The other day, he was in hot water for using a phrase about “monkeys” that some took to be slightly racist. McGregor, who may not have meant anything by it, dug himself into a deep hole.
“Let’s address the race. A lot of media seem to be saying that I’m against black people. That’s absolutely f–ing ridiculous. Do thy not know I’m half black? Yeah! I’m half black from the belly button down,” the Irish fighter said during one of the events.
While McGregor is not racist for saying what he did – he is certainly insensitive to racial issues though – the promotional tour as a whole is completely ignorant of any racial connotations that may and have arisen as a result of it.
The most offensive aspect of this entire show, though, is the money it stands to make. The promotional tour did its job and this writer is admittedly jealous. Some estimates put the expected earnings of the August fight at over $600 million and the offensive, tasteless promotional tour is part of that equation. While we won’t know for sure until the final figures roll in after the fight, the promotional tour, by all appearances, did its job and there is nothing more offensive than that.