Liam Neeson said that the “little leprechaun” Conor McGregor made Ireland a “bad reputation.”
The Irish actor shared his view on the UFC in an interview with Men’s Health, in which he specifically criticized McGregor.
“I can’t stand the UFC,” Neeson said. “To me, it’s like a bar fight. I know practitioners say, “No, you’re wrong — the months of training we do…” Why don’t you just grab a bottle of beer and hit another guy on the head? This is the next stage of the UFC.”
He added: “I hate it… That little leprechaun Conor McGregor, he’s ruining Ireland’s reputation. I know he’s in good shape and I admire him for that. But I can’t stand it.”
Neeson has been criticized in the past after comments in interviews. In 2019, the actor told a story in which he confessed that he once wandered the streets in search of a “black bastard” to kill him after learning that his close friend had been raped by a black man.
Recalling the incident in an interview with The Independent, Neeson said: “I went back and forth with the cat, hoping that someone would come up to me – I’m ashamed to say this – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping that some ‘Black Bastard’ would come out of the pub and try to pounce on me, you know? So that I can kill him.”
Later, the actor apologized during an appearance on the program “Good Morning America”. “I’m not a racist, that was 40 years ago,” Neeson said. “I grew up in the north of Ireland. Problems. The 60s, 70s and 80s. There was a war going on in the north of Ireland. I had friends who were involved in trouble. Fanaticism. One Catholic will be killed, the next day a Protestant will be killed. I grew up surrounded by it, but I’ve never been surrounded by it.”
He added: “We all pretend that we are all politically correct. But sometimes you just scratch the surface and you find this racism and bigotry, and they’re there.”
Last year, Neeson starred in a cameo role in Donald Glover’s film “Atlanta”, dedicated to his controversy about racism. In the episode, Alfred Miles, also known as Paper Boy (Brian Tyree Henry), meets Neeson at a bar called The Cancellation Club during a hallucination.