Ahead of tomorrow night’s ‘Money’ fight we’ve been chatting to Audie Attar, Conor McGregor’s manager.
He shared his experiences working with the Irish fighter since before his UFC debut, hinted at what the future holds for this ‘blue chip’ brand, and discussed his own life story and the difficulties of growing up as an Iraq-born American.
Talk soon turned to his perspective of the race controversy which McGregor found himself embroiled in after refering to Floyd Mayweather as ‘boy’ on a number of occasions.
“We had serious conversations, what even the word ‘boy’ means here to the African American community and why it’s such a sensitive subject to some from the mouth of a caucasian,” he told Off The Ball’s Ger Gilroy.
He added that the UFC star was unaware of the word’s conotations: “Conor is so proud of his Irish heritage that identifies with the African American communities in so many different ways. Particularly through what the Irish have gone through in history, right? But at the same time what I’ve tried to explain to him is, you know, for an African American here, they don’t understand that.
“He doesn't have to give in to Floyd’s mental games and spin job that he’s trying to create. But at the same time he needs to show my good African American friends, his African American friends that he’s not talking to them. He made a mistake and he is human. That’s not what he intended to say. That’s not what said. It’s being taken out of context. He’s very sorry if he offended them.”
He added that the Dubliner hasn’t, “one ounce of racism in his body at all.”
Mr Attar noted that he has used the word ‘boy’ in many contexts when addressing fighters:
“When this stuff went on in the World Tour, it struck a nerve because I’ve heard Conor use that against TJ Dillashaw who’s caucasian. Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, Nate Diaz, Urijah Faber, none of which are African American but all of whom were subject to Conor calling them a boy in pre-fight ‘banter’ where he was emasculating them in a way, verbally.”
Audie also discussed his own sporting past, and told Ger that he is confident that McGregor will continue to, "Transcend sports, fashion, and pop culture for years to come."