What a difference 24 hours can make.
Conor McGregor's coach, John Kavanagh, was popping champagne and passing out party hats on Tuesday night after his Straight Blast Gym (SBG) secured an official partnership with Reebok, one that complements the sneaker and apparel giant's private deal with his "Notorious" interim champion.
Celllllll-ebrate good times, COME ON!
Unfortunately, Kavanagh was too busy counting his coins to notice Reebok's new Ireland tee shirt, which is supposed to be a part of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) "Combat" line of sports gear. There's just one teeny, tiny little problem with this screen-printed map.
It's missing Northern Ireland.
The punchline? The site caption reads, "Show your UFC territorial allegiance," which is probably the worst thing you can say after omitting a territory with a history of conflict.
"An incredibly insensitive, stupid, divisive idea," Kavanagh wrote on Twitter. "It's removed by the end of the day or SBG is gone. I expect a sincere apology to Irish fans. It's about the dumbest idea I've ever seen."
Politics -- and crappy tee shirts -- make strange bedfellows.
Reebok was supposed to revolutionize mixed martial arts (MMA) sponsorships (see why here). Instead, it's been a train wreck from day one, complete with misspelled names, unhappy fighters, and skeptical fans. The offending tee shirt, however, has since been removed.
It will be interesting to hear what local fans have to say at UFC Fight Night 76, which takes place this weekend in Dublin (details).