Manny Pacquiao has been under heavy fire following a statement he said early in the week saying that gay people are “worse than animals.” The backlash against him has been quick and heavy even now. A day after his anti-gay comments went its rounds across all media, Nike dropped him from his endorsement deal.
“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike said in a 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. We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”
Pacquiao said in a statement that he respects Nike’s decision to sever ties with him over his stance on gay relationships, but hardly a day had passed when the eight-time world boxing champion dug himself into a hole again. As reported in SB Nation, Manny took to Instagram to post a Bible verse demanding that all gay people should be put to death.
The Instagram post has already been deleted, but not before someone took a screenshot and posted it on the Internet. The bible verse was a passage from Leviticus 20:13, shown below.
“If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own head.”
In response to his critics, Manny Pacquiao also included another verse from the Bible in the same Instagram post, this time pulled from Luke 6:22-23.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son Of Man. … Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.”
It all started when Manny Pacquiao, 37, made the offensive “gays are worse than animals” remark early this week during an interview with local television station TV5 in his native Philippines. On Tuesday, Manny posted a video apology to the LGBT community via his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I’ve hurt. I still stand on my belief that I’m against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I’m not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I’m praying for you.”
This is not the first time Manny Pacquiao was accused of quoting Leviticus 20:13. Back in 2012, the Examiner posted an exclusive Manny Pacquiao interview piece, which directly quoted the infamous verse. Other news sites, however, reported that the quote came directly from Manny Pacquiao’s mouth. One such report was from a blog post by Simone Wilson for LA Weekly, in which she wrote, “Pacquiao told the National Conservative Examiner over the weekend that gay men should be ‘put to death’ for their sexual crimes.”
Following the heavy backlash the Filipino boxer received, Pacquiao clarified that he didn’t make such a statement and thus accused the news media for twisting his words, even adding that he hasn’t read a word of Leviticus.
Four years later, the same criticism has been heaped on Manny Pacquiao, but there’s no getting out of this one since he posted the verse using his official Instagram account.
[Photo by Bullit Marquez/AP Photo]