You may have seen the abhorrent comments recently made by boxer Manny Pacquiao about gay people, where he described homosexuals as “worse than animals”.
If you somehow missed it, Pacquiao’s initial comment goes as such: “It’s only common sense. Would you see any species of animals who engage in male to male, female to female [sexual] relations? Animals, then, are better than humans [in that sense]. They know how to distinguish males from females. If people then engage in male to male, female to female relations, then they are worse than animals.”
He later apologised for his comments, but the damage had been done. Now, Nike has terminated their deal with him over his comments.
Nike made an official statement, saying: “We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent. 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.”
As mentioned earlier, Pacquiao did eventually apologise, but that apology probably came across as insincere given that he posted on Instgram saying that he was “just telling the truth of what the Bible says”.
This is hardly the first time that a famous boxer has made such comments, but boxing promoter Frank Warren spoke to BBC Radio 5 saying that boxing does not have a homophobia problem.
“No matter what walk of life you come from there are bigots,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a problem for boxing. In Tyson Fury’s case I hope it was something he said on the spur of the moment. He regrets it. You can’t condemn all of sport because of people’s stupid remarks. They are two boxers out of many thousands of boxers.”
“Pacquiao’s certainly lost any type of sponsorship. That’s all finished. No-one’s ever going to sponsor him again. The majority of the fans will be totally abhorred about what he said, but that is going be the test – how many people decide they want to watch him fight.”
I think we can all agree that his career is probably on a downward spiral from here, but only time will tell.