Conor McGregor apologized for recently being overheard using a homophobic slur. The UFC lightweight champion added that he has advocated in the past for LGBT rights in Ireland, and that the criticism he has received is another example of the desire some people have to throw him “under the bus.”

That criticism began earlier this month, after McGregor was shown on video consoling his SBG Ireland teammate Artem Lobov following a loss at UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland. “All I’m saying, he’s a f—-t,” McGregor said, with his arm around Lobov. “I never knew he was a f—-t.”

In a segment for Ireland’s “The Late Late Show” set to air Friday, McGregor explained that he had been “watching a sparring partner, a training partner, a friend, a brother of mine who has given his health — his body health, his brain health, everything — to help me prepare for fights, to give my brain health and my body health to entertain the public.” He said he was upset by the “manner” in which Andre Fili defeated Lobov in a potentially “career-defining” fight, which involved “stalling and running away.”

“I was whispering in his ear and I was speaking on that, and I said what I said,” the 29-year-old McGregor said. “I meant no disrespect to nobody of the LGBT community. I didn’t mean no disrespect.”

“You’d swear I was screaming at two people of the same sex kissing,” he continued. “I campaigned, when we were trying to get same-sex marriage legalized, I was campaigning for that.

“It is another one where things just get blown out and they love to just, any chance they get, they love to throw me under the bus.”

In 2015, McGregor tweeted out his support for a national referendum in Ireland that would allow same-sex marriage (it was approved by 62 percent of the voters). He followed that up with comments at a promotional event for his UFC 189 fight against Jose Aldo.

“We all deserve equal rights,” McGregor said at the time. “We’re all human here at the end of the day — regardless of color, gender, sexuality. Any of that. It’s all meaningless. We all deserve the same rights. It just feels right to me.”

McGregor has also been accused of racist comments in the past, particularly in remarks he has made while belittling future opponents. While promoting his August fight with Floyd Mayweather, he told the boxer, “Dance for me, boy,” then described the film “Rocky III” as “the one [with] the dancing monkeys in the gym.”

Ahead of the fight against the Brazilian Aldo, McGregor said, “What I really want to do is turn his favela into a Reebok sweatshop. They work well over there.” In 2016, he called Nate Diaz a “cholo gangster from the hood.”

“I’m human, I slip up, I say stupid things every damn day. All I can [do] is hold my hand up and apologize if anyone was offended,” McGregor told Reuters on Tuesday. “The word used to describe that opponent [Fili] was incorrect and very offensive, and I can apologize for that.”

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