Nike has cut ties with Manny Pacquiao after the boxer made disparaging remarks about homosexuals.
Pacquiao recently appeared on television in his native country, the Philippines, where he compared gay people to animals.
It didn’t take long for Nike to announce it was severing its relationship with Pacquiao, The New York Times reported:
“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike said in a statement. “Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of
supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.”
"We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”
Pacquiao, who is also a Filipino politician, appeared on television as part of his senatorial election campaign. His comments drew international attention:
It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?
The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.
Shortly after online backlash rose as a response to his comments, Pacquiao refused to apologize, NPR reported:
"I'm not condemning anyone, but I'm just telling the truth of what the Bible says," he wrote on Facebook early Tuesday, local time. He cited 1 Corinthians
6:9 — "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor
adulterers nor men who have sex with men."
Later that day, Pacquiao took to social media for some futile damage control, wearing a shirt that prominently displayed Nike’s logo:
Popular Filipino comedian Vice Ganda tweeted a message to his millions of followers with the hashtag #PrayForMannyPacquiao—following it up with several tweets condemning the boxer’s remarks:
The apologies have not done much to change the tide of criticism against Pacquiao—nor has it saved his former partnership with the world’s largest sporting
Pacquiao originally signed with Nike in 2006. Details of his earnings with the company were not disclosed.