In hindsight, maybe a four-city press tour wasn't such a great idea.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor hit the Big Apple on Thursday for a big to-do designed to build anticipation for their massive August 26 boxing match. It was a repeat performance of the previous two days in name only. In literally every other way, it was worse.
The first two press conferences in Los Angeles and Toronto created a ton of interest in the fight. You could sense non-believers starting to reach for their wallets in preparation of turning $100 over to Mayweather and McGregor.
The Brooklyn variation? It was more like Mayweather and McGregor setting all of that money on fire, then dumping the still-hot embers back on the rest of us.
Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN
One of the worst train wrecks I've ever seen when it comes to a promotional event. Shut 'er down and forget it ever happened.2017-7-14 01:14:33
Yes, it was that bad. In every way imaginable. It is bad enough that Mayweather's new idea of fight promotion consists of cursing and a whole lot of nothing else. It is bad enough that the whole thing started two hours late, leaving thousands of waiting fans irate.
But McGregor's earlier performance on the microphone was bad enough that everything else can be overlooked.
McGregor, clad in a fur coat, ugly leggings and no shirt, decided to address critics who accused him of racism after the Los Angeles tour stop when he kept telling Mayweather to "Dance for me, boy." He could've used this time to explain what he meant. He could've ignored the chatter altogether in hopes of not fanning the flames. He could've apologized for the insensitive remark even if he didn't mean to offend.
Instead, he doused the flames in petrol.
"Let me address race. A lot of people have me saying I'm against black people. That's absolutely ridiculous," McGregor said. "Do they not know I'm half-black? I'm half-black from the belly button down."
Perhaps McGregor felt this stunning remark didn't get his point across. Maybe the crowd wasn't laughing enough for his liking.
(They weren't laughing at all, in fact.)
Either way, McGregor, unfortunately, decided to keep talking. He noted he had a present for his black female fans in the audience, and then he started dry-humping the air.
UFC President Dana White expressed his own NSFW displeasure with the event:
McGregor said afterward that he was only trying to have a little bit of fun with the critics who accused him of making racist comments. It is time someone told him that having fun with racism isn't a real thing. He also doesn't get to decide what's fun and what isn't.
And it's time to cancel this whole press tour altogether.
Because at this point, it's doing more harm than good. There's another stop scheduled for London. It was the most anticipated stop on the tour for anyone who has seen a prior McGregor press conference in Ireland or the United Kingdom. The fans will be rabid, and they will be festive, and they'll sing songs about McGregor and generally make it a must-see.
Chuck Mindenhall @ChuckMindenhall
One of the things that keeps bothering me about tonight's press conference is that it took place.2017-7-14 01:28:42
They have a long flight to England before stepping on that stage. I'd like to think both men will take the time to reflect on the damage they've already caused to their own bottom line and to figure out how to recover from it.
But given how much they deteriorated after two days, it might not be the best idea to give either of them a live microphone.
Forget about beating the all-time pay-per-view record by drawing in a massive audience of casual fans from around the world.
One more performance like Thursday and the only people who stick around to buy the fight will be UFC fans.