Nike Drops Manny Pacquiao After His ‘Abhorrent’ Comments

The boxer takes a major hit.

Nike cut ties with Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday after the boxer made some completely asinine comments about homosexuality.

“Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relations?” Pacquiao said on Filipino TV earlier this week. “If you have male-to-male or female-to-female [relationships], then people are worse than animals.” Pacquiao is currently running for Senate in his native country, the next step in his eventual push to be president.

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The comments did not sit well with Nike, which has put Pacquiao on billboards for the last eight years. “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,” the brand said in a statement.

On Thursday, Pacquiao said he respected Nike’s choice but stood by his comments as “the truth.” (He’s wrong, of course. Plenty of animals display homosexual behavior.) 

But Nike didn’t drop Pacquiao because he’s not up on his ethology. It was the hatred. And that shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Nike is a global brand that has wants to be sell all things to all people. It’s #BETRUE brand is “inspired by the LGBT community” and in 2013, it was reported that Nike is actively seeking to endorse the first “openly gay athlete in major U.S. team sports.” Rostering an athlete who speaks against those values makes little sense — especially when he’s a faded star whose endorsement power is all but dried up. 

Pacquiao is scheduled to meet California fighter Timothy Bradley for the third time on April 9th. It’s expected to be his final fight.