July 17, 2017 at 1:43 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
Floyd Mayweather calls Conor McGregor anti-gay slur during press event

(Screenshot via YouTube.)

Floyd Mayweather’s press tour with Conor McGregor got especially heated for the crowd when Mayweather hurled an anti-gay slur at McGregor during their London press event.

Mayweather called McGregor a “f*gg*t* which caused the crowd to boo, but McGregor had no reaction. A representative for Mayweather told TMZ that Mayweather’s use of the anti-gay slur was in response to McGregor calling Mayweather a “monkey” off mic. At a previous press event, McGregor also told Mayweather, “Dance for me, boy” in what some people thought came across as a racially charged remark.

“The reason Floyd called Conor the F word is because Conor called Floyd a monkey. Floyd has nothing against gays or lesbians at all … Floyd has them on his staff. Floyd has nothing but the utmost respect for gays and lesbians,” the representative told TMZ.

McGregor spoke with MMAJunkie backstage at the London event and said he wasn’t bothered by Mayweather calling him the homophobic slur.

“People are so touchy on words. It’s absolutely crazy,” McGregor says. “If he said that, I couldn’t give a (expletive). I think what he was trying to do was to switch it up and get the people back in his favor. I think it was a bit of a (expletive) move to try and instigate that on me… Everyone with a sane mind that is watching knows what way it is. It is what it is. Some dirty tactics out there, but that’s what to expect. The fight game is a ruthless business.”

McGregor may not have been offended but Athlete Ally Executive Director Hudson Taylor released a statement saying Athlete Ally is against the offensive language used by both parties.

“Athlete Ally strongly condemns the homophobic slur used by Floyd Mayweather. The response given by Mayweather’s representative is equally troubling. If Mayweather truly has the utmost respect for the LGBT community, he wouldn’t resort to using slurs that perpetuate anti-LGBT stigma and hate,” Taylor said in a statement. “Additionally, if the allegations of Conor McGregor’s racial slur are true, McGregor too crossed an unacceptable line. Resorting to homophobic and racial epithets is shameful no matter how or why one uses them.”

Mayweather and McGregor will face off in the pay-per-view fight at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Aug. 26 on Showtime Sports.

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