Conor McGregor says homophobic slur was just ‘trash talk’
MMA fighter Conor McGregor has issued another apology for using a homophobic slur.
McGregor was recorded earlier this month using homophobic slurs while talking about an opponent.
He issued an apology last week, but suggested that the outrage was intentionally concocted to “throw him under the bus”.
Now in a new interview with Sky, McGregor has again apologised and tried to justify the slur he used against rival Andrew Fili.
He called the fighter a “faggot”.
The Sky interview said that “trash talk is a way of getting the psychological upper hand before a fight.”
It also said McGregor trying to say he isn’t homophobic was “the most passionate part of the interview”.
The interview text goes on to say that “he tries to explain that he wasn’t thinking about the meaning of it as he said it – he was simply trying to comfort a team-mate who’d just lost a big fight – but chose his words badly in the heat of the moment.”
McGregor told Sky: “When you come face to face with someone who’s trying to hurt you, maim you for life and drill your head into the ground at 100 miles per hour, you are going to say things.”
The article goes on to say that McGregor “has gay friends” and that he campaigned for same-sex marriage in Ireland.
The fighter came under fire for using anti-gay language in the past, but last week was taped ranting about rival Andre Fili.
Referring to Fili, McGregor said: “I thought you were going to sleep him… All I’m saying, he’s a faggot. I never knew he was a faggot.”
Fili condemned the slur, saying: “You don’t need to demean other people to make yourself seem bigger.”
McGregor has remained silent on the issue for more than a week, declining to issue comment.
He has finally issued an apology today in a pre-recorded segment for Ireland’s Late Late Show.
But the interview is far from magnanimous, as McGregor insists the controversy was concocted to “throw [him] under the bus”.
In the interview the fighter spends more time insisting that the row was whipped up to discredit him than he does saying sorry.
Speaking on the TV show, McGregor said: “I said what I said.
“I meant no disrespect to nobody… of any… of the LGBT community. I didn’t mean no disrespect.
“You’d swear I was screaming at two people of the same sex kissing. I campaigned, when we were trying to get same sex marriage legalised, I was campaigning for that.
“It is 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 is what it is. I’ll just say sorry for what I said and that’s it and try to move on from it.”
Explaining why he made the comments, he said: “I have to put my hands up… I was watching a friend of mine who has given his health, his body health, his brain health, everything, to help me prepare for fights… to entertain the public.
“That’s the fighter I was going to watch and support. I witnessed him lose a fight, and a potential career-ending fight, in 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.”
Scroll down for the clip.
Earlier this year boxer Floyd Mayweather apologised for using a homophobic slur in a press conference with Conor McGregor.
At the event, Mayweather accused his rival of being a racist, before shouting: “You punk. You faggot. You ho!”
Three weeks later, Mayweather has finally issued an apology for the remarks.
He said: “There are certain boundaries you just don’t cross,” Mayweather told the media in attendance during his open workout “In the press tour when I said something toward lesbians or gays when I said something toward him.
“I apologized, but him calling us monkeys, you have to realize, we went through years and years of up and down. Black Americans went through a lot.
“But I’m a strong individual. We live and we learn and hopefully after August 26, he won’t be speaking that same language.”
At the time McGregor refused to condemn the homophobic slur.
He said: “I actually didn’t even hear that… [but] people are so touchy on words. It’s absolutely crazy.
“If he said that, I couldn’t give a (expletive). I think what he was trying to do was to switch it up and get the people back in his favour.
“I think it was a bit of a (expletive) move to try and instigate that on me.”
Mayweather was previously caught on tape in 2010 referring to boxer Manny Pacquiao as a “faggot” several times.
A radio station recently came under fire for posting a Twitter poll on whether it is “anti-gay” to say the word “faggot”.
After McGregor’s comments, radio station Dublin Talks 98FM posted the poll.
98FM posted the poll on Twitter, asking: “Conor McGregor’s in trouble for using the word FAGGOT. He’s been accused of being homophobic. Is it anti-gay to use that word?”
The poll attracted strong criticism online, with people mocking the station for asking the question.
The station said: “Last Monday, the Dublin Talks show on 98FM discussed a news story which developed over the weekend regarding Conor McGregor. The topic surrounded the use of a word that is offensive, particularly to those in the LGBT+ community.
“Following on from this incident, a debate developed in the public domain on whether the word used by Conor McGregor was meant in an offensive way or not.
“The Dublin Talks team debated this topic on-air, during which members of the LGBT+ community took part in the programme. The topic was balanced and contained a wide variety of opinions on the matter.”
It added: “As part of the debate, the show put a poll on Twitter to gauge public opinion on this matter.
“It is important to point out this poll was in the context of the debate which was happening on-air at the time on whether Conor McGregor was homophobic by using this particular word.
“During the on-air topic we heard from many LGBT+ people who explained how this word affected them & others, and the impact such words can have to a person’s well-being.
“We also heard from other listeners who felt the reaction to this word was over-the-top, in the context of the leaked Conor McGregor video.
“At 98FM, we absolutely agree this word is an offensive & derogatory term and it was never our intention to cause upset.”
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The statement continues: “The Dublin Talks show discuss various topics daily and try, where possible, to get all views.
“We use Twitter, text, Whatsapp and other social platforms to engage with our audience and find polls to be useful.
“However, the wording of the tweet to support the on-air debate on this occasion was wrong and for this we are sorry.
“Talking about these topics and words should not, and does not imply any support for their use.
“The entire team at 98FM are supporters & friends of the LGBT+ community in Dublin & beyond and are proud to be partners of Dublin Pride 2017 and other community events.
“We will be putting plans in place to team up with Dublin LGBT+ Pride to do training in the area of diversity.”