It's not unusual for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion Conor McGregor to get some blowback (like this), considering how much smack he talks during each and every public appearance (sample it here). Considering his place among prizefighters, it's practically in his job description.
What is unusual, is to hear it coming from his homeland of Ireland.
It appears some folks in the Irish media are willing to step forward and call out the "Notorious" cage fighter for his greed and moral indecency. Not only does he care more about money than social responsibility, argues JP O'Malley of Irish Independent, McGregor also sets a bad example for impressionable youth.
But the world champion mixed-martial-arts fighter isn't just a paid lackey for a dodgy sporting enterprise working out of the Nevada desert. McGregor also appears to be devoid of any kind of moral compass; a trait one usually expects from a successful global athlete of his stature. His one true loyalty is to money and material wealth.
Never one to shy away from cliches and bland stereotypes in public, McGregor has also labelled the Irish - to millions of viewers around the world - as a nation of people who "are lovers of combat". It's hard to figure out if McGregor has the even the most basic intellectual faculties required to think before he speaks, given just how outrageous some of his comments have been.
Perhaps what's most worrying about McGregor's recent accession to sporting global dominance, though, is the example it's setting to impressionable youngsters across Ireland. Namely, the normalising of barbaric violence in our culture, especially around young, naive, and hugely impressionable children, who tend to emulate the behaviour of their elders.
O'Malley also takes him to task over Reebok and the idolization of ex-boxing champ (and convicted rapist) Mike Tyson.
Read the full article here.
This level of showmanship is not uncommon in combat sports and Chael Sonnen, a former middleweight contender who made life miserable for Anderson Silva, was just as controversial in his pre-fight comments. What sets McGregor apart from "The American Gangster" is his ability win on the big stage.
Not just win, but win with flair.
Until that stops -- and it might on March 5 -- no amount of complaining or high-profile hit pieces will be successful in derailing the "Notorious" hype train. It's too powerful and makes too much money. Besides, this is MMA and we already know it's probably just a matter of time.
What goes up, must come down.