Nike has officially terminated its relationship with Manny Pacquiao, severing all ties with the world champion boxer after he described homosexuals as being “worse than animals”.
The 37-year-old boxer, who is also contending for a senate seat he currently holds in his native Philippines, has since apologized for his comments.
That was not enough for Nike, a company putting as much space between itself and the toxic boxer as possible.
“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon in the US. “Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.”
Pacquiao has been with Nike for eight years but all traces of him have been deleted from the Nike website.
‘Worse than animals’
The controversy started when a Filipino TV channel posted a video on Facebook Pacquiao that was titled in Pacquiao’s native Tagalog “Mas masahol pa sa hayop”, which, translated means “worse than an animal”.
According to the BBC and others, some of his comments in the video translate as: “It’s common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female? The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.”
Pacquiao posted the video below on Tuesday in an apparent attempt to make amends, but many questioned its sincerity.
Pacquiao, whose last fight saw him defeated by Floyd Mayweather, is due to fight American Timothy Bradley Jr in Las Vegas in April.
Some of Pacquiao’s work Nike