UFC superstar Conor McGregor has been slammed by the Sean Heuston Dublin 1916 Society for wearing a poppy, a symbol of support for British Army's deceased.
McGregor is next due in the ring for a huge fight on December 12 against Jose Aldo in a UFC featherweight unification fight in Las Vegas. Whether the poppy fallout will impact his massive Irish American support remains to be seen.
Under the hashtag “Croppies Don’t Wear Poppies” the 1916 society stated “(McGregor) Comes out to 1916 song 'The Foggy Dew' then wears a Poppy remembering the men who fought to kill and suppress them and the ideals they fought for.”
Comes out to 1916 song 'The Foggy Dew' then wears a Poppy remembering the men who fought to kill and suppress them and the ideals they fought for.#CroppiesDontWearPoppiesPosted by Seán Heuston 1916 Society, Dublin on Thursday, October 29, 2015
McGregor took grave exception to the comment, writing on Facebook:
“I know where my allegiance lies and what I do for my country.
I don't need a stupid little flower with a 100 different meanings to tell me if I do or do not represent my country.
Check the facts of its original meaning.
ALL soldiers. ALL wars.
I have the blood of many nations on my gloves. Fought and beat on the world stage.
You have a pint in your hand and a Celtic jersey on in your local. F-- you and the Queen.”
I know where my allegiance lies and what I do for my country. I don't need a stupid little flower with a 100 different...Posted by Conor McGregor on Thursday, October 29, 2015
A 1916 Society statement in response reads: “The Poppy in a modern context is produced exclusively by the Royal British Legion and a brief glance at their website illuminates clearly its purpose in present times. As the RBL state themselves, it is to honor ALL current and past British Army servicemen and women in all conflicts from WWI onwards; which includes their colonial escapades in India, Palestine, Kenya and, of course, Ireland. Included in the same are the murderous Parachute Regiment and their killings of Irish people on Bloody Sunday and the Ballymurphy Massacre.
“The Poppy, especially its wearing in Ireland, should be taken in its entirety. It can’t be sugar coated with the constant citing of World Wars. Unfortunately it has been misused by the British establishment as a symbol to justify past conquests and their modern-day imperialist wars – all the while raising money for soldiers, many of whom have terrorised the nationalist people in our own country.
The comments on the Queen provoked a British backlash with the Daily Telegraph calling it “An astonishing rant” and the Daily Mail saying it was “Bizarre and and incredible rant."
McGregor responded again to the controversy on Twitter
Fuck politics and fuck religion. I just want to swing a few lefts and a few rights for a couple of hundred mill in peace.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 29, 2015
Meanwhile Twitter lit up with comments for and against McGregor
Those attacking Conor McGregor for wearing the poppy are anti-peace elements intent on undermining the political institutions #dissidents— Lord McGuinness (@LordMcGuinness) October 30, 2015
The most telling thing about the reaction to Conor McGregor's poppy statement is how many bigots and idiots there are on either side.— Jay Furness (@JayFurnessMMA) October 30, 2015
No Irish man or woman should EVER wear the poppy of British Imperialism and Terrorism.. Very disappointed in Conor McGregor— Dobz (@Dobz95) October 29, 2015
Conor McGregor 'fans' losing the plot because he wore a poppy...back in 2013?? Give me a break! �� pic.twitter.com/Y3UTPweTWx— RAY SHAH (@Ray_Shah) October 30, 2015
Conor McGregor stupid wearing poppy. Deeply divisive symbol honouring dishonourable soldiers from Bloody Sun etc. Far removed from WWI&II.— Stephen Maguire (@headofthetown) October 29, 2015
How is Conor McGregor wearing a poppy an issue again? It's meant to represent soldiers who have died in all wars since 1914.— Hail The King (@Los_Macros) October 29, 2015
The poppy was one thing, but here's the moment I think Conor McGregor went too far. pic.twitter.com/zypx5JETwU— Ben Kiely (@TheJivemaster) October 29, 2015
Can't help but laugh at Conor McGregor coming out to the Foggy Dew and then wears a poppy. Make your mind up lad ��— ㅤㅤㅤ (@MrCliftonville) October 29, 2015
Do you agree with the Sean Heuston Dublin 1916 Society that Conor McGregor should not wear the poppy? Do you think McGregor’s argument that he isn’t a political figure is fair? Share your thoughts in the comment section.