There was much to do about Floyd Mayweather’s statements about Conor McGregor just a while ago, and of course a very public dialogue about race exploded onto the scene yet again. My opinion on the subject was beseeched and of course I will keep my opinions on the matter 100% honest whether anyone likes it or not, as is my modus operandi. I will always bring it forward truthfully as I see it, and raw.
About Conor McGregor Floyd Mayweather said, “They say he talks a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I’m cocky and arrogant,” Mayweather continued. “So biased. Like I said before, all I’m saying is this: I ain’t racist at all, but I’m telling you racism still exists.” In response Conor McGregor via Instagram stated, “Floyd Mayweather, don’t ever bring race into my success again, I am an Irishman. My people have been oppressed our entire existence. And still very much are. I understand the feeling of prejudice. It is a feeling that is deep in my blood.” He continued, “In my family’s long history of warfare there was a time where just having the name ‘McGregor’ was punishable by death.”
Now here’s the bottom line, have the Irish been treated harshly many times in history? Oh yes. Even in this country, the USA, they were treated like dogs. There was a lot of subjugation and oppression, especially toward the Irish. However, did it permeate as long and was it anywhere near what African Americans had to face, and what many are still contending with today? No. For decades in this country alone, the Irish were not liked but still able to establish themselves, join the police forces and unions, and redefine themselves in each generation, while African Americans were literally still enslaved, and then held back, denied opportunities and oppressed by Jim Crow laws.
I’m a fan of both fighters, in that they both have my respect as champions. I don’t think Mayweather’s statement (on this subject) should have faced them off against each other. And although many people will not admit it Mayweather’s statement on this subject alone wasn’t necessarily a personal attack toward McGregor, but it touched on a sad reality that has much of the sobering truth to it.
There are different nationalities, cultural divisions and histories within the white race. However, in present day society a collective and universal pan-whiteness has effectively elevated different groups of people classified as white to side-step a lot of the oppression and indignities of institutionalized racial oppression commonly dealt with by most people of color, primarily African Americans. To this day there are many unfair double-standards, and yes there are differences in the reception of negative characteristics in white athletes versus black athletes. This is and has been true whether the public at large cares to admit it or not.
The same institutionalized racial injustices that have existed in society are still amiss in varying ugly forms. For example, the first black Heavyweight of all time, Jack Johnson was harshly discredited for having an elusive, defensive style that was ahead of his time. Sound familiar? Instead of being heralded and acclaimed he was called sneaky, cowardly and evasive. However, when “Gentleman” Jim Corbett employed a similar strategy he was heralded as being a gifted, skillful, and an intelligent fighter. These institutionalized attitudes have been sustained right up to present day.
Black males constantly struggle with the psychological trauma of having to ponder how they’ll be perceived and portrayed to the world by a predominantly white owned and directed media conversation. From policing on down to media representation, people of color all over the world feel the sting of traumatizing racial realities that often go ignored or even flat out denied. Conor McGregor feels that he is no participant to racist institutions, and he isn’t, but to deny they exist is unwittingly what the unseen masters want him to do. I’m sure that once upon a time Irish people were complaining about their treatment that was being ignored, denied or overlooked with indifference. Things have changed and he is subconsciously accepted into a broadened group internationally. His ethnic group is still oppressed in the grand scheme of things, but sits on a higher plain in the hierarchy. So for analogy sake, a broken arm sure does suck, but complaining about that broken arm to a paraplegic person permanently disabled might not produce the desired effect.
Conor McGregor is just a fighter, and he himself is not responsible for any racial institutions that exist. They existed before him and unfortunately probably will after him in the foreseeable future. However, Conor McGregor just may be another person unaware of the institutionalized racist structures that the unseen powers that be keep in place and impose on all of us, largely because he does not have to contend with it as much, nor does he seem to realize how he benefits by default. In addition to that, the media is most likely instigating the issue because that’s what they do. They love it. They are probably going to keep taking words and statements out of context, cajoling McGregor into taking it personally. However, it shouldn’t be taken personally, just heard. Sometimes a little wisdom and understanding can open hearts and minds, and make the world come together. And sometimes, in certain situations, no response is the best response.