Magic Johnson welcomes Nike dropping Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao (Pic: Instagram)

Manny Pacquiao (Pic: Instagram)

Nike has ended its ten-year-long sponsorship of eight-time world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao over his anti-gay comments.

The Filipino sportsman turned politician was condemned around the world for saying in a recent interview that gay people are “worse than animals”.

In a statement, Nike said that it found Pacquiao’s comments “abhorrent”.

The sportswear company explained: “Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.”

It added that, “We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”

Basketball legend Magic Johnson welcomed Nike’s move on Twitter. “I applaud Nike for terminating Manny Pacquiao’s contract after his derogatory statements that gay people are worse than animals,” he said.

Fellow boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr, who beat Pacquiao in a fight in May last year, also appeared to distance himself from his competitor’s comments.

He told TMZ: “We should stay positive. We should let people live their lives the way they want to live their lives. I don’t have nothing against anyone…To each his own.”

In the interview, Pacquiao said: “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.”

He later tried to apologise, writing on social media that while he was sorry for hurting people, “I still stand on my belief that I’m against same sex marriage because of what the Bible says.”

Pacquiao, who is also a businessman, actor and a congressman in the House of Representatives, is running for the Senate in the country’s May elections on a conservative Christian ticket. In 2015, Forbes named him the second highest-paid athlete in the world.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend