Nike fired Manny Pacquiao due to his anti-gay comments. Pacquiao is currently in the hot seat for his recent commentary on same-sex marriage.
TMZ confirmed that Nike fired Pacquiao. The American multinational sports business issued this statement:
“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.”
Nike’s decision ends their relationship with the boxer that began in 2006.
TMZ also reported the boxing icon attempted to save the deal. It said members of Pacquiao’s team communicated with Nike. They asked to give the boxer a second chance. However, Nike’s decision was final.
Outsports revealed this is not the first time Nike had a problem with Pacquiao. The boxer’s earlier opposition to marriage equality also didn’t sit well with the company. However, they did not fire him then.
Outsports also noted Nike’s support for the LGBT community citing its endorsements of LGBT athletes like Brittney Griner and Jason Collins. The company also created an entire line of clothing and the #BeTrue campaign celebrating gay pride. Nike also donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to LGBT non-profit groups.
Pacquiao is currently seeking a senatorial seat in the upcoming Philippine elections. In a recent interview with local news station for its “Bilang Pilipino” campaign, the boxing icon said he disapproved of same-sex marriage.
Pacquiao apologized for his comments after receiving backlash from various sectors, especially the LGBT community. Here’s his Facebook post:
“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.”
At present, Pacquiao is in training for his confirmed bout with Bradley in April.