On Friday, Manny Pacquiao insinuated that inflammatory comments he made — namely, that gay people are “worse than animals” — were taken out of context.
Nike used to pay Pacquiao for endorsements, but they cut him off after he made those anti-marriage-equality statements.
Specifically, he said that same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to get married; and that homosexuality is wrong because it doesn’t exist in nature. Which it does.
“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” said an official statement from Nike.
At the time, Pacquiao said he respected Nike’s decision to drop him over the disparaging comments — but TMZ Sports reported that he later “doubled down” on that antigay stance, posting a Biblical verse that could be interpreted as condemning gays to death. (It was posted only a few hours after Nike severed ties with him.)
Though it has since been deleted, Filipino news agency ABS-CBN captured the Instagram he posted, which quotes that notorious Leviticus 20.13 line:
“If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death, their blood will be on their own heads.”
Manny’s longtime promoter Bob Arum told TMZ he finds Manny’s views abhorrent, but he understands where he’s coming from — because he’s a born again Christian.
On Friday, Pacquiao tried to backtrack during a conference call to promote his April 9th fight against Timothy Bradley.
“I don’t mean to condemn [gay people],” he said during a conference call, according to The New York Post. “No one can condemn anyone. I apologize for using words that no one wanted to hear. The interview was five to ten minutes long and they cut it.”