Nike Ends Longstanding Relationship With Manny Pacquiao Following Gay Relationships Comment
It looks like Manny Pacquiao’s statement on gay marriage has cost him a major endorsement. Nike announced earlier this week that they’ve ended their multi-year relationship with Pacquiao after he stated, “If you have male-to-male or female-to-female [relationships], then people are worse than animals.”
ESPN Sports Business Reporter & Business Correspondent, Darren Rovell, broke the news that the sports conglomerate was terminating their contract with the boxing champion.
“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,” it reads. “We no longer have a relationship with Manny 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
Pacquiao also shared his thoughts on Nike’s decision in an interview with the AP, stating that he respects the company’s resolution. “Whatever decision Nike makes is its decision and I respect that and its sponsorship of me now only involves my clothes for my fight. Our contract has already ended aside from sponsoring the boxing.”
He later furthered his views on gay relationships within the interview. “I am not condemning the LGBT. What I am condemning is the act. I’m happier because I’m telling the truth … It’s worse if we will hide the truth. I’m happier that a lot of people were alarmed by the truth.”
It didn’t stop there though. He also published a now deleted Instagram post standing by his headlining opinion.
Pacquiao’s comment prompted a response from his boxing rival Floyd Mayweather. The undefeated athlete said, “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.”