Nike terminates deal with Pacquiao

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Nike has terminated its relationship with Manny Pacquiao after the world champion described homosexuals as “worse than animals.”
The 37-year-old, who is running for a senate seat in his native Philippines, later apologised for his comments.
“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” said a Nike statement.
“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 sportswear company added: “We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”
Pacquiao’s original remark was made in a television interview and he initially appeared unrepentant, writing on Instagram that he was “just telling the truth of what the Bible says.”
However, he later wrote on Facebook he was “not condemning LGBT”, while still voicing his opposition for gay marriage.
Pacquiao, whose last fight was a defeat by Floyd Mayweather in May, is due to fight American Timothy Bradley Jr in Las Vegas in April.

British world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, apologised in December for criticising homosexuality, as well as derogatory remarks he made about women.

But boxing promoter Frank Warren said that the sport did not have a problem with homophobia.

“No matter what walk of life you come from there are bigots,” said Warren. “I don’t think it’s a problem for boxing. In Tyson Fury’s case I hope it was something he said on the spur of the moment. He regrets it.

“You can’t condemn all of sport because of people’s stupid remarks. They are two boxers out of many thousands of boxers.

“Pacquiao’s certainly lost any type of sponsorship. That’s all finished. No-one’s ever going to sponsor him again.

“The majority of the fans will be totally abhorred about what he said, but that is going be the test – how many people decide they want to watch him fight.”

Boxing star Manny Pacquiao has said he respects Nike’s decision to sever ties with him over his comments about gay relationships.

However, he stood by his opposition to same-sex marriage and added he is happy that “a lot of people were alarmed by the truth.”

The American apparel giant said on Wednesday it will no longer have any business dealings with the Filipino boxing champion, adding it found his comments ‘abhorrent’ and that it strongly opposes any kind of discrimination.

“Whatever decision Nike makes is its decision and I respect that, and its sponsorship of me now only involves my clothes for my fight,” Pacquiao told reporters during a break in his training for an April 9 bout with Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas.

“Our contract has already ended aside from sponsoring the boxing.”

The Bible-quoting Pacquiao, 37, has become an active Christian in recent years and publicly declared his opposition to same-sex unions.

When he was asked by a local TV network as a Senate candidate about his views on same-sex marriages, Pacquiao came under fire for his curt reply.

“It’s just common sense,” he said in the remarks posted online by the TV5 network earlier this week. “Have you seen any animal having male-to-male or female-to-female relationship.”

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