Conor McGregor is no stranger to straight talk. The UFC featherweight champ understands the positions he’s in, both in and out of the ring. When McGregor’s in a dominant spot, he uses it to his advantage. As soon as he gained the featherweight title in December, McGregor said his rivals Nate Diaz and Rafael Dos Anjos would have to “beg him” for a bout. With that taunt McGregor is taking advantage of his position as a big draw, knowing that he holds the key to a big purse and that the fighters who want a piece of it need come through him.
But is the Irishman McGregor’s draw extra strong because he’s white? Controversial (and allegedly retired) boxing champ Floyd Mayweather thinks McGregor derives a benefit from his “white privilege.” Mayweather, an African American who has made around $700 million from boxing, recently said that McGregor gets a pass for talking smack (like the begging taunt), whereas he — Mayweather — gets criticism for making similarly bold statements. That proves “racism still exists,” Mayweather said. McGregor took offense. “Floyd needs to understand before he speaks who he is speaking about, and that is that,” McGregor said in a press conference about his upcoming fight (March 5) with Dos Anjos (did he beg?). “I think Floyd needs to learn before opening his mouth. There are people buried in the desert for less than that,” McGregor said. One thing is sure: if McGregor gets an advantage because he’s white, it sure doesn’t occur inside the ring.