Manny Pacquiao suffers TKO over incendiary statements that he recently posted on Instagram. USA Today reports that Pacquiao verbalized his controversial views during a television interview that took place in the Philippines. It was during this interview that the boxer stated that those in gay relationships “are worse than animals.”
USA Today went on to report that soon after Nike ending their business relationship with Pacquiao, the boxer posted a Bible verse on Instagram that suggested that gays should be put to death. The post included a photo of he and his wife with an excerpt from several Bible passages. Prominently standing out was the passage Leviticus 20:13. The verbiage of the passage condemns those who would identify as homosexuals and then continues on to justify violence as an appropriate means to deal with them. Although the post remained up for a short time, it did receive 15,000 likes.
Pacquiao suffering a TKO over his incendiary statements was solidified as Nike released their official press release stating that they find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent and that they were no longer interested in continuing to participate in this business relationship.
In an attempt to minimize the damage caused by his interview and Instagram post, the boxer posted on Facebook his remorse for having compared homosexuals to animals. He went on to that his position on same-sex marriage was one of opposition. The post then ended with he had not intended to condemn the LGBT community and that he would keep them in his prayers.
While the Facebook post seemed to provide damage relief, The Washington Post reports that those outside the corporate arena as now coming out to express their opposition to the anti-gay rhetoric. Most notably, former Los Angeles Laker great Magic Johnson. In a tweet, Johnson applauded Nike for terminating Manny Pacquiao’s contract. Johnson pointed out that fans of all sexual orientations helped to make last years Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight, a 100 million pay day for the boxer.
Interaksyon reports that also publically denouncing Pacquiao is Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete in the NBA. Collins wrote on Twitter, that he had lost all respect for the boxer and that his bigoted stance should prevent he holding public office. Interaksyon indicated that Floyd Mayweather, who defeated Pacquiao last year, released a statement saying that it was his belief that people would be allowed to live their lives in the manner that as they wish.
As visceral opposition builds, The Washington Post reports that Nestle and Wonderful Pistachios have released press releases explaining that both would stand in solidarity with Nike in not affiliating themselves with Pacquiao. Each expressed support for diversity, equality, inclusiveness as well as marriage equality.
Pacquiao is committed to fight Timothy Bradley in April 2016 for the third time. The event is being promoted as the last fight in a career described as iconic. Along with his athletic prowess, Pacquiao is an elected member of Congress in the Philippines. The New York Times reports that Pacquiao intends to direct his full attention on running for a Senate seat, with the possibility a presidential bid being a distinct possibility.
Manny Pacquiao suffers a TKO over incendiary statements, however, it is unlikely that his political aspirations will be negatively impacted. The New York Times reports that in his native Philippines, homosexuality is not criminalized. In spite of this, same-sex marriage has not achieved legal status. Much of the Philippines population identify as conservatively Catholic where same-sex marriage is not culturally acceptable. Manny Pacquiao’s inflammatory remarks are in congruence with his constituency as evidenced by the minimal backlash he has received from his native land.
By Garrett Sayers
USA Today: Manny Pacquiao posts, deletes Bible Verse Calling for Gays “To be Put to Death”
The Washington Post: Magic Johnson condemns Manny Pacquiao as former sponsors distance themselves
The New York Times: Manny Pacquiao Loses Nike Sponsorship Over Anti-Gay Remarks
Interaksyon: Business As Usual: Manny Pacquiao continues training amid backlash
Image Courtesy of Pambansang Kamao’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License