Mr Trump was welcomed with loud cheers and boos as he was escorted for the match between mixed martial artists Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
The salute from the 65-year-old actor – infamous for his racist, anti-semitic and homophobic outbursts in the past – has sparked questions among his fans about his political views and has been roundly criticised by several social media users as well.
Some of them wondered why Gibson offered a military-style salute to the former president, while others discussed his earlier views on Mr Trump.
Comedian Richard Jeter wrote on Twitter: “Fingertips to eyebrow, not arm extended. Fingertips to eyebrow, not arm extended. Come on, Mel. You’ve got this – Mel Gibson preparing for this salute, probably.”
“Mel Gibson, who has pretended to be soldiers, saluting Donald Trump, who has pretended to be President, makes a certain kind of sense,” wrote senior film writer Norm Wilner.
“So crazy how I thought he was awesome back in the ’80s. I’m glad people’s true characters have been revealed,” wrote a fan.
During a 2020 interview with Fox News, the Oscar-winning filmmaker was asked about his political views. “Who the hell cares what I think? I’m not an expert—what am I qualified to talk about?” he told host Laura Ingraham.
“It’s alright. It allows you a sense of anonymity so that in your performance you can come out and just be anything; you’re not already carrying a lot of baggage. It’s partially intentional,” he said.
“I am politically incorrect, that’s true,” he added. “Political correctness to me is just intellectual terrorism. I find that really scary, and I won’t be intimidated into changing my mind. Everyone isn’t going to love you all the time.”
Several other celebrities attended the fight, including Dave Chappelle, Justin Bieber, Miles Teller, Jared Leto, Steve Aoki, Steve-O, Baker Mayfield and Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis.
The Independent has contacted Gibson for his comment.
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