Nike drops Pacquiao’s endorsement deal due to anti-gay remarks

World Today

Eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has apologized for comparing gay people to animals, but that hasn’t ended the controversy. On Wednesday, sports brand Nike scrapped its endorsement deal with Pacquiao.

CCTV’s Barnaby Lo reports.

Nike drops Pacquiao\'s endorsement deal due to anti-gay remarks

Eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has apologized for comparing gay people to animals, but that hasn't ended the controversy. On Wednesday, sports brand Nike scrapped its endorsement deal with Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is arguably the most famous Filipino in the world. He is a hero in the southeast Asian country, a politician who, despite showing up only four times in Congress last year, is a frontrunner in this year’s Senate race.

But that could change after Pacquiao’s controversial comment on same-sex marriage.

In an interview with a local network, Pacquiao said, “It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women, then they are worse than animals.”

Almost immediately, the country’s gay community reacted with outrage. 

Initially defending his comment, Pacquiao later bowed to the pressure saying,”I’m humbling myself before you and before God for my mistake. Thank you and God bless.”

But the apology may have come a little too late. On Wednesday, Nike announced it was ending its relationship with Pacquiao after the company found his comments “abhorrent”.

In a predominantly Christian country, it isn’t hard to find people, like Manny Pacquiao, who oppose same-sex marriage. But it was the language that he used that crosses the line.