Manny Pacquiao has faced heavy public backlash after making controversial comments about same-sex marriage, saying that legalizing it would “makes us worse than animals.” That resulted in an apology from the boxing great, although he’s still against same-sex marriage.
Pacquiao’s beliefs on gay marriage and gay people in general are not new. In 2012 he had to clarify that he’s not against gays, but is against gay marriage. This time, however, it looks like it may cost him his deal with Nike. A report from TMZ notes that Nike is leaning towards ending their sponsorship agreement with Pacquiao after 10 years.
The two sides have had a relationship since at least 2006 — but we’re told Nike is particularly disturbed after Pacquiao said gay people are “worse than animals” … and intend to drop the boxer for good.
We’re told the move is not official yet — but there have been multiple discussions and we’re told it appears to be heading in that direction.
TMZ’s article also notes that Pacquiao’s merchandise seems to have been pulled from the Nike online store.
Cached search of “Manny Pacquiao Shoes”
Current search of “Manny Pacquiao Shoes”
Pacquiao is set to return to the ring for a trilogy match vs. Timothy Bradley on April 9th, in an HBO PPV main event in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s expected that this will be the final fight of Pacquiao’s illustrious career.
UPDATE: Confirmation (via ESPN’s Darren Rovell) that Nike has severed its deal with Pacquiao.
BREAKING: Nike has terminated its contract with Manny Pacquiao due to recent comments. Nike statement: pic.twitter.com/3xZ7e08EtU
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 17, 2016
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