After months of anticipation, UFC star Conor McGregor and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather went toe-to-toe in the boxing ring last night. For fans, the event represented a once in a lifetime event. Although a renowned MMA fighter, McGregor had never professionally boxed in his career. On the other side, Mayweather is roundly believed to be the best boxer of his generation.
Despite the fight’s high pay-per-view price tag ($100), demand to watch was so high that cable services experienced severe outages. For millions of Americans, the fight was a welcome distraction from these tense political times. However, just before the main event started, fans were shocked when Showtime ran an ad from the Southern Poverty Law Center:
— CBS (@CBS) August 27, 2017
Predictably, the SPLC drags out a cast of celebrities and news personalities to lecture the audience. However, those tuned in to see a fight weren’t pleased:
southern poverty law center commercial right before Mayweather/McGregor fight = let's teach love but here look violence can make you rich
— Daniel (@bromodaniel) August 27, 2017
@MarkDice the mayweather McGregor fight has Southern Poverty law center propaganda. Can't even enjoy a fight anymore.
— Elijah (@_____________EP) August 27, 2017
Having paid $100 to watch the broadcast, many didn’t take kindly to being shown blatant political advertising:
I paid $100 for commercials? For fucking SPLC propoganda??
— Jack Murphy (@jackmurphylive) August 27, 2017
How in the hell does the SPLC afford prime time advertising during the #MayweathervMcgregor fight? How is that $ well spent?
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) August 27, 2017
Others pointed out that SPLC has a less than stellar reputation:
Wait, what? The SPLC, a known hate group, promoting themselves during the #MayweatherMcGregor fight?
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) August 27, 2017
The SPLC, which is the largest hate group in the country, just advertised during #MayweathervMcgregor
— Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 (@RealSaavedra) August 27, 2017
Indeed, SPLC has been known to unfairly target Christian and conservative groups. In 2014, the FBI stopped using the organization to track hate crimes because they weren’t dependable. More recently, the organization was sued for slandering a Christian organization.
Fans who tuned in to see a fight were rightfully outraged by the ad. Sometimes, Americans want a distraction from the constant political propaganda. Sadly, even paying $100 doesn’t get you that.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]