Rumors are starting to arise that Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao may be on the verge of losing his endorsement with Nike after his controversial comments regarding homosexuals couples. TMZ reported this morning that though no official announcements have been made, they’ve been told that discussions are being made to move in that direction.
For those catching up, Pacquiao said publically this past Monday on the Philliphines TV5 television network that it was “common sense” that animals did not engage in same-sex behavior, and concluded that homosexuals and gay couples were therefore “worse than animals”. The complete quote reads:
"It's common sense," he said. "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 they are worse than animals."
Pacquiao’s comments of course drew ire from fans, and the rumor of losing his Nike endorsement doesn’t come out of nowhere. Aries De La Cruz, a Filipino New Yorker, started an online petition urging a boycott on Nike products until the company drops the boxer from their sponsorship. As of this writing, there are 3,627 votes of a 5,000-vote goal.
Though the Filipino boxer has since apologized for his comments, it appears as though the damage has been done. Also according to TMZ, Nike has since removed all Manny Pacquiao merchandise from its online store.
Update: Nike has indeed terminated its contract with Pacquiao, calling his comments "abhorrent."
BREAKING: Nike has terminated its contract with Manny Pacquiao due to recent comments. Nike statement: pic.twitter.com/3xZ7e08EtU
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 17, 2016
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