World champion boxer Manny Pacquiao has been dropped by Nike, one of his biggest sponsors, after making some extremely homophobic remarks comparing gay people to animals.
BREAKING: Nike has terminated its contract with Manny Pacquiao due to recent comments. Nike statement: pic.twitter.com/3xZ7e08EtU
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 17, 2016
According to ESPN, Pacquiao, currently a Senatorial candidate in the Philippines, posted his very anti-gay comments when a Filipino TV network asked political candidates how they feel about gay people:
“It’s just common sense. Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations?”
Pacquiao went on to explain that animals were better because they recognized gender differences, and that “if you have male-to-male or female-to-female [relationships], then people are worse than animals.”
After the immediate backlash, Pacquiao issued a weak apology on Instagram:
I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I’m praying for you.
A video posted by Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) on Feb 16, 2016 at 2:41am PST
The 37-year-old boxer’s contract with Nike has been terminated and his merchandise on the Nike website has been removed.
This isn’t the first time Pacquiao has dropped anti-gay comments on top of voting against funding planned-parenthood resources, abortion and being against the use of condoms in his home country, where he may or may not still be the most favored candidate.