US sports brand giant Nike has decided to sever ties with boxing icon Manny Pacquiao following his statement on same sex marriage where he compared members of the LGBT community to animals.
In an official statement, Nike made it clear they won’t stand for Pacquiao’s derogatory statement against the LGBT community.
“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, which is accurate."
Nike’s move comes after a New York-based Filipino started an online petition to drop Pacquiao from the prestigious brand’s line of athlete endorsers.
Pacquiao made the controversial statement in a TV interview where he said LGBT members were lower than animals.
“Common sense lang. Makakita ka ba ng any animals na lalaki sa lalaki o babae sa babae? Mas mabuti pa ‘yung hayop,” he chuckles adding “Marunong kumilala kung lalaki ang lalaki o babae kung babae,” he said.
“Ngayon kung lalaki sa lalaki o babae sa babae eh mas masahol pa sa hayop ang tao,” he added.
This drew the ire of netizens, celebrities and personalities alike both from the local and international scene who were all united in saying that Pacquiao’s remarks were unacceptable.
Many local celebrities like Boy Abunda and Vice Ganda also said they were not voting for Pacquiao, who is seeking a seat in Senate.
Pacquiao has since publicly apologized through a video post saying that it was not his intention to put down the LGBT community. Still, he retains his stand against same sex marriage.