In a scintillating Instagram post, Ultimate Fighting champion Conor McGregor responded to Floyd Mayweather claiming that racism still exists in sports.

By Israel Gonzalez

Sports and racism, while two dramatically different things, typically go hand-in-hand when discussing why certain athletes get away with something while others do not.

For UFC superstar Conor McGregor, that discussion became all too real when the recently retired Floyd Mayweather decided to imply that racism still exists in sports.

Like the great Rocky Marciano had done, Mayweather left the sport of boxing at 49-0. He recently talked to Fighthype.comabout what he believes to be unjustifiable treatment of black athletes. Mayweather believes that the color of one’s skin determines how the public and the media treats a fighter.

After talking about how fellow boxer, Andre Ward, is treated differently than Gennady Golovkin, Mayweather quickly shifted focus to Conor McGregor.

In a interview with Ben Thompson, Mayweather commented:

“And what’s so crazy, I don’t really know the McGregor guy; never seen him fight…I heard his name actually from one of the runners that works for our company…he told me about the guy McGregor. They say he talk a lot of trash and people praise him for it, but when I did it, they say I’m cocky and arrogant. 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.”

If you look at it though, Mayweather has a point.

He built a career with his mouth and fists. Prior to a PPV, Mayweather sold the fight by verbally attacking his opponent.

During the fight itself, he sold his next fight by being a magician in the ring.

All things considered, though, McGregor wasn’t receptive to Mayweather’s message. Whether or not it is true or has any merit, is irrelevant to McGregor. Yesterday, McGregor took to Instagram to thank a few people, and proceeded to go on a rant about what Mayweather comments.

“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.”

Is it possible for both fighters to be right? That can be debated.

Still, the bigger issue is that no culture or race can lay claim to being the only ones being oppressed. This is something that isn’t easily understood by anyone. McGregor did his best to educate Mayweather on what his people have been through. He then proceeded to challenge him to a fight.

“In my family’s long history of warfare there was a time where just having the name ‘McGregor’ was punishable by death. Do not ever put me in a bracket like this again. If you want we can organise a fight no problem. I will give you a fair 80/20 split purse in my favour seen as your last fight bombed at every area of revenue.”

Lately, McGregor has taken the Ultimate Fighting sports world by storm.

At 19-2 and having knocked out former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194, McGregor is arguably the best fighter on the planet. He has won six of his seven UFC fights by some form of knockout, and has beaten five straight opponents in under two rounds.

Mayweather won 49 fights, 26 by knockout.

In other words, he has knocked out 53% of his opponents. McGregor, by comparison, has won 19 fights, 18 by stoppage. Putting that into context, he participated in 30 fights less than Mayweather, yet has eight fewer stoppages.

Such statistics is why McGregor can say the things that he says.

If he says that he is going to knock you out, he usually does. McGregor had one final message:

“At 27 years of age I now hold the key to this game. The game answers to me now.”

Maybe it’s time to believe that it does.

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Israel Gonzalez was born in the greatest borough that New York has to offer, The Bronx. Originally a Mixed Martial Arts writer, Israel started covering NY sports less than a year ago, which is only fitting given his ties to New York. Israel’s favorite NY teams, in no particular order, are the New York Yankees, New York City FC, the New York Jets, and the New York Knicks. He is looking forward to the next step in what has been an eventful journey.