Professional MMA fighter Conor McGregor apologised to the LGBT+ community for using a homophobic slur when talking about a competitor two weeks ago.
The Crumlin native used the word “faggot” several times to describe an opponent in a video that was tweeted by the official UFC Twitter account, only to be removed and re-uploaded by other users of the social media site.
The 98FM radio show Dublin Talks asked their followers whether Conor McGregor’s use of the slur was “anti-gay” with a shocking 60% of respondents coming to the conclusion that it was not.
However, when a similar poll was run by GCN, results indicated that the vast majority of respondents (93%) wanted McGregor to apologise for using the word and the international icon seems to have taken on board these wishes.
98FM have since apologised for putting the poll out on Twitter, saying:
“At 98FM, we absolutely agree this word is an offensive & derogatory term and it was never our intention to cause upset.”
“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.”
98FM is the official media partner of Dublin LGBTQ Pride which lead the LGBT+ organisation to issue a statement condemning the use of the word faggot and the radio station’s debate:
“Dublin LGBTQ Pride believe that there is never a justification for the use of the word faggot. Debating this point can give credence to the idea that there are acceptable instances of hate speech.
“However, we believe that the best way of fostering equality is to move forward and work together. We will, therefore, be providing diversity and inclusion training to the staff in 98FM.”
Late Late Show
Speaking in a pre-recorded interview for The Late Late Show with host Ryan Tubridy, McGregor expressed his opinion that the incident in question was “blown out” of proportion.
“I have to put my hands up there,” he said. “I was watching a fighter, a sparring partner, a training partner, a friend, a brother of mine who was given his health, his body health, his brain health, everything to help me prepare for fights to give my brain health and my body health 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.”
Below is the re-upload of the video in question:
— ✌Curtis✌ (@fuufnf) October 21, 2017
The Dublin fighter juxtaposed his use of the slur with the fact that he campaigned for same-sex marriage prior to the 2015 referendum before issuing an apology which he hoped would help him “move on from it”.
“I was whispering in his ear and I was speaking on that and I said what I said. I meant no disrespect to nobody 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.”
Watch the segment from the show which airs Saturday below:
McGregor was in Dublin this week to promote his film Conor McGregor: Notorious which is released in cinemas across Ireland today.
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