Pacquiao loses the backing of Nike for the second, and possibly final time, due to off-handed remarks made against same-sex marriage.
Manny Pacquiao continues to weather the blows at the wake of the fallout of his remarks against gays, despite trying to make amends following his statement in comparing people in same-sex relationships “worse than animals.”
Among those not in favor of Pacman’s remarks was his official outfitter Nike, which announced that it will no longer support him in his corner.
“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,” Nike said in a statement.
“We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”
The last time Nike dropped Pacquiao was in 2012 when he made similar remarks to same-sex marriage in the first half of the year. The Swoosh decided to stick on with Pacman, but a devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez made them walk away with the bulk of other sponsors as well, according to Forbes.
Pacman return to the good graces of Nike in the second half of 2014 after beating the likes of Joshua Clottey and Timothy Bradley, leading in the sportswear brand’s creation of a new set of Pacman-inspired hoodies and t-shirts.
He joins the likes of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong; American football players Adrian Peterson, Michael Vick, and Ray Rice; and sprinter Oscar Pistorius, whose ties with the Beaverton, Oregon brand were severed due to their respective controversies.
The controversy began when Pacquiao was quoted, saying: “The animals are better. They know how to distinguish, male or female. If we approve male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals” in a video released by Interaksyon.
The eight-division world champion was rained on with criticisms on his allegedly insensitive remarks, but he took to social media to defend his statements in the said video:
“I rather [sic] obey the Lord’s command than obeying the desires of the flesh. Im [sic] not condemning anyone, but I’m just telling the truth of what the Bible says. The truth from the Bible is what changed me from my old ways,” said Pacquiao in a post on Twitter.
Eventually, Pacquiao – who is running for a seat in the Philippine Senate this May – caved in to public clamor to make amends with the people he gave harsh judgment and likened to “animals” in a recent television interview.
“I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support. I would like to ask for forgiveness to everyone I hurt because of my comparison [of the LGBT] to animals. It is my mistake and I would like to ask for forgiveness to all those who were hurt [by my words],” said Pacquiao in the recorded message.
Despite his apologetic tone, Pacquiao stood pat on his stance against same-sex marriage, saying that he was just owning up to his mistake of comparing people who are in homosexual relationships as “worse than animals.”
“However, this does not change my decision of being against same-sex marriage, and that is my belief. My mistake was that I compared people to animals. I am humbling myself before you and before God for my mistake,” he added.