Ukrainian President Criticizes Conor McGregor for posing with Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took aim at Conor McGregor.

In 2018, the Irish sports star Conor McGregor met Vladimir Putin in person when they attended the World Cup Final in Moscow. They chatted for a little bit and took a picture together. McGregor also gave Putin a bottle of his ‘Proper 12’. It was several months before his controversial bout with the Russian athlete Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Irish politician Mark Daly revealed that the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy wasn’t happy about McGregor taking a picture with Putin four years ago. Daly and another politician Sean O Fearghail were in Ukraine’s capital to discuss some issues from the Irish delegation to the ongoing war.

“He felt he[McGregor] wasn’t being supportive of Ukraine. This man is fighting a war but he knows what’s going on all around the world including in Ireland.” Daly told the Irish Independent.

Sportswashing is the practice of an individual, group, corporation, or government using sport to improve their tarnished reputation, through hosting a sporting event, the purchase or sponsorship of sporting teams, or by participation in the sport itself.

While at the individual or corporate level sportswashing is used to cover up and direct attention away from said person’s or company’s vices, crimes, or scandals. Sportswashing is an example of reputation laundering.

Mark Daly said that he and O Fearghail will try their best to support Ukraine’s request to join the union.

“We will be asking our colleagues across Europe to support their application to join the European Union. When they are teaching leadership in universities for years to come, this will be the standard.” Daly added.

Even though McGregor met Putin before the Russian invasion, the two countries have been in a conflict for years. Volodymyr Zelenskyy doesn’t like the idea that McGregor labeled his meeting with Putin as an “honor”.

“This man is one of the greatest leaders of our time and I was honored to attend such a landmark event alongside him. Today was an honor for me Mr. Putin. Thank you and congratulations on an amazing World Cup.” McGregor said after the meeting.