Pacquiao issues apology, faces backlash

Published in the Windy City Times.

Boxer Manny Pacquiao issued what some are calling a weak apology after causing a storm by claiming gay people are “worse than animals,” The Daily Mail reported.

The pugilist world champion made the comments in a television interview in the Philippines, where he is running for a senate seat in the May elections. At one point, he asked, “It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex?” In his apology, he posted on Facebook, “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.”

Pacquiao is already facing consequences as a result of his comments. CNNMoney noted that Nike has dropped him as an endorser, saying it found what he said to be “abhorrent.” Nike has previously dropped other athletes, including Lance Armstrong, Ray Rice and Michael Vick; however, the company re-signed Vick after five years and kept its contract with Kobe Bryant in the wake of his charge for sexual assault.

“Manny is seen as a role model for youth around the world and we find his words deeply disturbing. Words like the ones mentioned above are extremely harmful to LGBTQ and allied youth who may have previously looked up to him” said Brad Delaney, president of One Million Kids For Equality, in a statement. Athletes such as basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson—who has a gay son of his own—applauded Nike for its action, according to Queerty.