Issues To Consider in the Wake of the #MayMacWorldTour
Did Conor McGregor cross the line, or has hateful promotion become an acceptable norm?
As of July 14, Conor McGregor and Floyd “Money” Mayweather wrapped up their four stop press tour in London. This tour was meant to be a promo for the upcoming billion dollar event, scheduled to take place on August 26, 2017, in Las Vegas. The atmosphere began to get really fired up in Toronto, which was stop number two on the tour. What was supposed to be a press conference turned into a mud sling of curse words, insults, and a literal competition of who can deliver the lowest blows.
Being a UFC fan and follower of McGregor, I was slightly baffled at just how much profanity was used. Not only was McGregor taking shots at his opponent, but he also attacked Mayweather’s associations, businesses, family, and was even accused of being racist. Is there a line that needs to be drawn, or is everything game when promoting the largest event in MMA and Boxing history?
I have to say, I felt embarrassed to be a Conor fan, and this whole train wreck of a tour really got me thinking about how such events play into our culture.
Just when one thought that things couldn’t get any worse, then came the stop in Brooklyn. McGregor came out shirtless, wearing printed leggings and an oversized fur coat – later boasting it cost him $41,000. Mayweather one-upped him in London, boasting about his $1.4 million watch – but Brooklyn is where this whole circus started falling apart.
Conor addressed the racist accusations, stating he is, “half black from the belly button down.” To make matters worse, he then addressed African American women, stating he had a gift for them and proceeded to dry hump the air.
Mayweather is far from innocent, cursing just as much as McGregor, and meeting each insult thrown his way with one of his own. However, his actions were slightly more tamed than the Irish fighter’s.
I have to say, I felt embarrassed to be a Conor fan, and this whole train wreck of a tour really got me thinking about how such events impact our culture. Dana White, CEO of the UFC, mentioned how the promotion and marketing of events is just as important, and as much work, as the fights themselves. It is very clear that Conor McGregor has a certain persona that is amplified when promoting his events – it is what has catapulted the UFC in more recent years. However, people are watching- kids are watching.
What this press conference showed me is that we are victims of our own actions. We perpetuate hate and prejudice through investing in the very things we preach about needing to abolish.
I enjoy the sport and have profound admiration for the work and discipline that the athletes put into their craft – I went as far as naming my son after Urijah Faber. I am, however, disgusted by what is allowed to be spoon fed to us through media. What this press conference showed me is that we are victims of our own actions. We perpetuate hate and prejudice through investing in the very things we preach about needing to abolish.
Is what transpired during this press tour a product of the culture people have created, or are we the people a product of the culture the media creates? This is the number one thing that needs to be taken into consideration. We live in a time where there is more hate than ever in recent history, yet at the same time there are more efforts to bring awareness to social issues. We live in hypocritical times, when people want to do the right thing, but are easily consumed by the things that are put in front of them.
Yes, parents have a say in what their children are exposed to, but not all parents parent the same way. Role models like Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather are everywhere. The way they chose to represent themselves is a detriment to the youth of upcoming generations. These are the people that the media puts everywhere, the people that children look up to. Their disgusting behavior is what keeps the negative cycle of hate and ridiculous antics moving forward – because people who look up to them copy them.
This goes to show that people will do anything for money. Money buys the symbolic, materialistic things that people use to make themselves happy. People define wealth by what they have in their bank accounts, how many houses and vehicles they own, and this is another lesson we all learned from their press tour. Never mind boasting about their athletic abilities, how much time goes into training, or the amount of charitable work they do, it was about who has a private jet and who doesn’t.
We all need to take a step back and really look at what we are allowing ourselves to consume. We all play a part in perpetuating racism, stereotypes, social classes, and replacing happiness with expensive items. People tend to follow those they look up to as leaders, so those are the people who must start to invoke change. A different approach needs to be taken to promoting events, or building a platform.
With an entire country and sport backing him, Conor McGregor can be the beginning of this change that the world needs. Instead of feeding into negative antics that produce income, he can be more positive and humble. This would be a more respectable role for others to mirror.