Nike is dropping Philipino boxing phenom Manny Pacquiao (57 – 6 – 3) like a BAD HABIT. Check out their website. All traces of Manny – GONE.
But what warrants such a reaction from the world’s biggest sport apparel company towards one of the greatest boxers of all time?
The ‘People’s Champ’ has been the center of controversy a few times in the past, voicing his opinions on Homosexuality or the LGBT community in general. This time though, Pacman compared gays to animals – and that did not sit well with his sponsors, namely one of the biggest in the world, Nike.
Nike spokesman elaborates:
“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,” said a Nike spokesperson. “We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”
If that wasn’t enough there’s a #droppacman hashtag going around.
Check this this petition launched on Change.org by Rutgers University student Aries Dela Cruz getting 1600 people to sign the petition by noon Wednesday:
“Pacquiao’s expressions of homophobia and bigotry disqualifies him from being honored, endorsed and sponsored by one of the world’s largest publicly-traded and owned athletic companies, particularly one that is celebrated and well-known for their promotion of sportsmanship and excellence,”
Pac issued an apology – but it was met with further furor:
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals,” Pacquiao wrote. “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.”
Pacquiao also served as a pitchman for Wonderful Pistachios and Nestle.
Here’s what they had to comment:
“Wonderful Pistachios is not currently affiliated with Manny Pacquiao nor do his views align with ours,” Wonderful Pistachios spokesperson Jennifer George told USA TODAY Sports. “Wonderful Pistachios stands firmly for diversity and equality and we proudly support marriage equality and inclusion around the world.”
Wow talk about a backlash. Pacquiao is currently training in the Philippines for his April 9 fight with Tim Bradley. Will the LGBT community be routing for him? I think not.
Let us know your thoughts on Manny and his Anti-LGBT stance!